Kommentar \ EU am Scheideweg: „Europa vor Flüchtlingen abschirmen“ oder „Geflüchtete schützen“?

Release Date



  • German


In light of the coronavirus-crisis, European refugee policy is currently receding into the background.  But the situation of refugees at the EU's external borders, on the islands of the Aegean Sea and elsewhere on the periphery of Europe is deteriorating rapidly, aggravated by the global pandemic. Benjamin Etzold of the Bonn peace and conflict research institute BICC and other researchers from the EU-funded project TRAFIG are deeply concerned not only about the humanitarian situation but also about EU policy. They urgently call for EU measures to protect refugees—rather than shielding the EU from them.
The renewed 'mass onrush of refugees" at the external borders of Europe feared by many has so far not materialised.  Even if no new "EU-Turkey deal" has been finalised, last week's virtual meeting between the Turkish president and the heads of government of Germany, France and Great Britain, as well as ongoing negotiations, led to new commitments by the European Union and leading EU nations.  Turkey will continue to care for refugees within the country and offer them vocational and educational perspectives with continued and even more support by European countries.  The humanitarian and diplomatic efforts to improve the devastating situation of the people in Idlib, the last rebel stronghold in Syria, are being stepped up. Greece, too, will be supported in the build-up of its border security without being forced to comply with basic human rights principles and the EU's own rules.  Meanwhile, the coronavirus-crisis has caused this latest episode of the state of emergency on Europe's external borders, actively pursued by Turkey, to disappear from the news headlines.  Neither Turkey nor Greece, Germany or the European Commission can now afford to devote full political attention to anything other than managing the state of emergency in the health systems. But what do we learn from the last few weeks?
Read more
Commentary "European Union at a crossroads: "Shield Europe from refugees "or "Protect refugees"? (in German, pdf)

"The EU's shield and the institutionalisation of protracted displacement" (TRAFIG Blog)


Kommentar_EU_Fluechtlingspolitik.pdf [German] (254.3 KB)
download icon

Cite as

@misc{EtzoldPastoreRoman2020, author = "Benjamin Etzold and Ferruccio Pastore and Emanuela Roman and Panos Hatziprokopiou and Eva Papatzani and Albert Kraler", title = "Kommentar \ EU am Scheideweg: „Europa vor Flüchtlingen abschirmen“ oder „Geflüchtete schützen“?", latexTitle = "Kommentar \textbackslash{} EU am Scheideweg: „Europa vor Fl{'u}chtlingen abschirmen“ oder „Gefl{'u}chtete sch{'u}tzen“?", publisher = "BICC", institution = "BICC", type = "Other publications", year = "2020", address = "Bonn", }


Other publications