Duality of the crisis in Europe:  Solidarity and foreign policy to a test


05th February, 2016

Meglena Kuneva, Deputy Prime Minister for European Policies Coordination and Institutional Affairs and ECFR Board Member

Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office

Sinan Ülgen, Chairman of the Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies

Mattia Toaldo, Policy fellow for ECFR's Middle East & North Africa programme

Ioannis Armakolas, Head of South-East Europe Programme, ELIAMEP


Chaired by:

Vessela Tcherneva, Senior Director for Programmes and Head of ECFR Sofia Office


If in the peak year of the refugee crisiswe were able to speak of open borders, in 2016 we will hear more of closing borders, if in 2015 we could question the upper limits of new arrivals of refugees, in 2016 these will probably become reality. And if in the past year we were relying on existing instruments, in 2016 we are facing the fact that none of them has delivered to the desired extent, notably the reallocation principle. All this easily feeds into people’s fears and radical parties know to quickly capitalise on them. What should and could Europe do to adequately and collectively respond to the challenges? Will current divisions produce lasting problems or will the EU come out stronger?

In a two hours discussion we will examine both the internal and external dimensions of the refugee crisis in Europe, bringing in the perspectives of Bulgaria and Germany as Member states, but also looking closer at the root causes of the crisis and what actions, notably inactions brought us here. Because the ability to find and keep finding joint European solutions to the crisis will have a lasting impact on our abilities to act united in the future.

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