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European Governments’ Responses to the ‘Refugee Crisis’

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The Interdependence of EU Internal and External Controls

image of Southeastern Europe

In the face of the ‘refugee crisis’, many European governments, even in traditionally liberal states, unilaterally introduced a number of restrictive and, often, controversial migration, asylum, and border control policies. The author argues that past legal-bureaucratic choices on migration and asylum policies, ongoing developments in international relations at that time, the structural and perceived capacity of receiving states to cope with the refugee influx, and long-standing migration-related security concerns influenced the responses of many European governments amid the mass population movement. However, the author also suggests that the surfacing of particular policies across Europe was related to the newly elected Greek government’s attempted U-turn from similar repressive and controversial policies during that time. In this regard, the author maintains that repressive and controversial migration, asylum, and border control policies cannot simply be abolished within the context of the EU common market and interdependence of EU internal and external controls.

Affiliations: 1: University of Glasgow, UK,


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