Massive refugee influx, collapsed borders, humanitarian crisis: Quo Vadis Europa?

Massive refugee influx, collapsed borders, humanitarian crisis: Quo Vadis Europa?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016 - 5:00pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Franck Duvell (COMPAS, Oxford)
Renée Hirschon (St Peter’s College, Oxford)
Othon Anastasakis (St Antony’s College, Oxford); Adis Merdzanovic (St Antony’s College, Oxford)

SEESOX Seminar Series: South East European realities amid Europe’s multiple crises

South East Europe currently finds itself confronted with numerous external crises, including the Eurozone, the refugee influx, crises in the eastern and southern neighbourhoods, as well as internal political, constitutional or economic. In SEESOX’s Hilary term Seminar Series, we wish to look at how the region has been coping or not coping with these multiple crises and what domestic developments or strategies may either prevent or enable appropriate political responses. The seminar series will address some of the acute problems affecting Europe, as seen especially from a South Eastern European perspective, and combine the thematic (refugee, economic and political crises) with the country specific approaches.

In 2015, over one million people, mostly refugees, arrived at the shores of Europe, mostly in Turkey and Greece, and continued their journey through the Balkans to the northern EU countries. Large numbers of people entered clandestinely, turned up at, sometimes demonstrated and occasionally even overrun border controls until these were subsequently abandoned under the sheer weight of large numbers. The absence of save routes and the lack of an adequate reception system temporarily resulted in humanitarian emergencies. Social and policy responses were mixed involving some laisser fair and resilience in Turkey and Greece, erratic opening and closing of borders, announcements of measures such as relocation that were never implemented and an initially partly welcoming spirit that is successively complemented  by a hostile backlash. As a consequence, core principles of the EU such as freedom of movement are jeopardised. All this has been conceptualised as a multifaceted crisis, a crisis of violence and war in the neighbourhood of Europe, a refugee crisis, a crisis of border controls, a crisis of the EU refugee reception regime, a humanitarian crisis and subsequently a crisis of the EU. Meanwhile the macro-level context of the arrival and integration of one million people in the context of ageing and shrinking populations are not openly discussed.

Franck Düvell, PhD, social scientist; since 2014 he is Associate Professor and since 2006 Senior Researcher at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford. Previously, he was contract senior researcher at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) (2009-12), lecturer in sociology, political science and Geography at the University of Bremen, Germany (2004-8), Jean Monnet Fellow at Robert-Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, and European University Institute (Florence) (2003-4). His sits on the steering committee of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX) and on the advisory board of the Migration Research Centre of Koc University Istanbul. He is also member of the executive committee of PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migration) and the Border Monitoring project Ukraine. His research focuses on European and international migration and migration and border politics. He currently conducts an ESRC-funded project on the Mediterranean refugee crisis and another ESRC project on the impact of immigration enforcement. He has published nine books, four special issues, around 40 journal articles and many book chapters, such as ‘The migration transition of Turkey’ (Insight Turkey 2014), ‘Transit Migration’ (AUP 2014), ‘Illegal Immigration in Europe’ (Palgrave 2006), and ‘Migration. Boundaries of equality and justice’ (Polity 2003, with Bill Jordan).