The chapter deals with the great opportunities for European societies not only to let refugees arrive, but to arrive as society at oneself in the sense of a more adequate self-perception and concept. Three levels are distinguished. First, arriving at oneself includes reflecting the experiences of persecution, displacement and flight during and after the Nazi regime. Second, the treatment of the ‘guest-worker’ generation in Germany and elsewhere during the second half of the twentieth century could be critically reconsidered in terms of arrival. Third, Germany and other countries get the historic opportunity to arrive in Europe in a more substantial and sustainable way. Although the societal and political development after 2015 may invite more sceptical or pessimistic analysis and prognosis, the ‘refugee crisis’ contains a great opportunity to refine the project of a European society in a globalized world.
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The chapter reconstructs the events of autumn 2015 and argues that these can be understood as a complex network of rational decisions, spontaneous acts of desperation, courageous actions and tactical behaviour by individual and collective actors: refugees, their non-profit or for-profit assistants, state bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and politicians on the local, national and European levels. Some sociological rules such as the ‘unanticipated consequences of purposive social action’ and the Thomas theorem, according to which ‘if men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences’, help to explain these processes.
The chapter analyses the often-cited ‘causes of refuge’ and especially the context of the so-called refugee crisis of 2015. It argues that the approach on the development–migration nexus has to be broadened to analyse the vicious circles of lack of development, organized violence and forced migration. This is considered to be the new transnational social question of the twenty-first century. The chapter especially treats the role of organized violence in its different forms and presents empirical evidence from two broader regions, where its entanglement with lack of development and forced migration could be observed, that is: Central–North America and sub-Saharan–North Africa–Middle East–Europe.
The chapter gives an overview of the topic and issues treated in the book. Three main arguments are presented. First, the dynamics of the refugee events of 2015 reflect the degree of globalization and transnationalization of social relations. In Syria as well as in Europe the global is becoming local and the local is becoming global. Transnational social relations are becoming more and more important. Second, since the 1990s a European refugee regime has been being developed, but its (nice) provisions for refugee protection almost collapsed in face of the organized non-responsibility of EU member states. Third, the networks of refugee- and asylum-oriented organizations and elements of a related transnational social movement compensated the ‘organized non-responsibility’ of national governments.
The EU is still torn between market and polis, leaving the situation negligently undecided as to whether it should be developed into an instrument of catching up with economic and cultural globalisation or as an accelerator of it. In this situation ‘reconsidering European citizenship’ ought to be interpreted as empowerment rather than protection. Four areas of such empowerment are sketched: (1) reclaiming constituent power; (2) de-constitutionalising the treaties; (3) enhancing direct legitimation – empowering a transnational parliament; and (4) accomplishing a transnational citizenship status.
The chapter deals with the reaction of important groups of political actors and administrative authorities. Concerning asylum and refugee politics, their activities are characterized as ‘organized non-responsibility’, by which tasks and duties are pushed to other collective or corporate actor groups that, at the same time, are blamed for what they are doing. This confusion enabled the corresponding actors to move the responsibilities back and forth between the local, regional or district, federal and EU levels and thus to disguise their own inactivity by pointing to the shortcomings of others – at the expense of the refugees directly affected. As will be shown, due to power relations in the fields of legitimacy there had not been many possibilities to breach this wall of reciprocal paralysis until refugees acted in social networks and civil-society-organized collective action.
The European Union (EU) is often seen as a guarantor of peace and stability in Europe, but in the light of ‘Brexit’, shifts in transatlantic relations, the migration crisis and, growing political tensions between Member States, new questions need to be asked about what these crises and challenges entail for the Union. This chapter discusses these questions on the basis of research on security communities in international relations. The chapter describes the historical evolution of the security community concept and summarizes the main theoretical insights gained from studies conducted over several decades. The concept is used to analyse the development of the EU as a security-community-building institution, with an emphasis on military and civilian crisis management. The EU’s response to the refugee situation in the Mediterranean region is also analysed. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the extent to which the EU can act as a security-building institution beyond its borders, and this provides the basis for a set of policy recommendations highlighting that the EU should seek to strengthen practical cooperation with non-members in the field of international crisis management.
Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Anna Michalski, Niklas Nilsson and Lars Oxelheim
The introductory chapter outlines the challenge presented to the European Union (EU) by an increasingly complex security environment, compounded by a diverse set of crises relating to migration, terrorism, war in the EU’s immediate vicinity, and the lingering danger of disintegration in the Eurozone. In order to put the book in context, the chapter explores the current crises and the challenge they pose to solidarity in the EU and, ultimately, to its internal cohesion. It also reviews what the EU can and should do to remain relevant as a crisis manager and sustain its credibility as a peace project. The chapter subsequently outlines nine central aspects of the crises facing the EU and policy recommendations to address them. In conclusion, the chapter argues that the EU needs to strengthen solidarity among its Member States by reforming the European asylum policy and to deepen cooperation between judicial and national security agencies. Most importantly, however, the EU needs to prioritize upholding the four freedoms that underpin it in order to remain legitimate in the eyes of its citizens.
Chapter 3 elaborates a conceptual structure for an inquiry into the question of balance between rights and duties related to EU citizenship. It starts from the observation that, for some time, the absence of EU citizens’ duties was interpreted as marking the immaturity of EU citizenship and a major difference from the citizenship of a state. The chapter continues by linking this evaluation first, to more general debates which express dissatisfaction with the current ‘culture of rights’ and, second, to the critique about a lack of conceptual clarity when citizens’ duties are invoked in the context of debates on EU citizenship. The question of what their justification can possibly be relates to ongoing debates on the EU’s very legitimacy, where the liberal focus on rights is often criticised at the expense of communitarian or republican values focusing on collectivity rather than individuality.
Chapter 9 addresses and evaluates EU citizenship under the lens of cosmopolitanism. By reconstructing cosmopolitan principles, the chapter aims: first, to discuss the question of whether or not transnationalisation is a step towards a realisation of cosmopolitanism; and, second, to propose a relationship with the development and prospect of EU citizenship as an example of the attempt to transnationalise (citizenship) rights. The cosmopolitan frame of reference is aimed at helping to assess the EU’s prospects and challenges as a transnational membership regime. Seubert argues that a cosmopolitan standpoint generates an inherent tension for the EU: even if EU citizenship moves towards a transnational form, as a federation of states it is still a bounded entity – bounded through the borders of its member states. It is proposed, therefore, that we should think of cosmopolitanism not as something static and fixed, but rather as a transformative process – cosmopolitisation.