Open Arms Behind Barred Doors: Fear, Hypocrisy and Policy Schizophrenia in the European Migration Crisis

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Series Details Vol.22, No.3, May 2016, p317-322
Publication Date May 2016
ISSN 1351-5993 (Print) / 1468-0386 (Online)
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In 2015, over one million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, laying bare the limitations of the EU's common border control and burden-sharing systems. This article examines consequences of the EU's disjoint, schizophrenic and, at times, hypocritical responses to what has become known as the European migration crisis. It explains how unilateral, national-level responses have made the EU as a whole particularly susceptible to a unique brand of coercive bargaining that relies on the threat (or actual generation) of mass population movements as a non-military instrument of state-level coercion.

After outlining who employs this kind of foreign policy tool, to what ends, and under what circumstances, the article offers an illustration of this kind of coercion in action, by analyzing the March 2016 deal between the EU and Turkey. The article concludes with a discussion of broader consequences of the deal and implications both for the displaced and for the EU going forward.

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Related Links
ESO: Information Guide: European Migration Challenges
ESO: Background information: International Summit: Meeting of the EU heads of state or government with Turkey, Brussels, 7 March 2016

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