European Union

Time to say goodbye to stereotypes

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This article was published in the printed version of the GIMUN Chronicles, the newspaper of GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016, two months ago. We thought we’d give you a chance to rediscover it!

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By Michelle Bognuda

In today’s world, people are forced to leave their homeland because of wars. January and February are particularly special months for Ticino’s young people because this is the time when carnival celebrations take place. Although these two statements do not seem to be linked, this year there was a logical connection. Swiss cantons which border other countries, such as Ticino or Geneva, are particularly touchy about immigrants, people in search of political asylum and, last but not least, cross-border workers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Germany: the scale has officially tipped towards the right

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The GIMUN 2016 Annual Conference, held from March 7th to 11th at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, gathered around 200 students for a model UN. Yes, it was a month ago, but it turns out the GIMUN Chronicles journalists had not said their last word! When the conference ended, they still had a few more articles left for us…

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Michelle Bognuda

About one month ago, Germany had an important weekend. Three state elections happened, and now that the results are published, it is official: radical right-wing parties are gaining more and more power. On March 13th, the states of Saxony-Anhalt, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg cast their ballots. This is an important test for Angela Merkel and her Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (“Christian Democratic Union of Germany”, CDU) party, because, even though the three states have different political scenarios, polls predicted that radically right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (“Alternative for Germany”, AfD) would have had the best of the race. Read the rest of this entry »

The E.U. should not be proud of the new refugee deal with Turkey

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As GIMUN’s Annual Conference 2016 is taking place this week, we will be giving you exclusive access to one article a day published in the conference newspaper, at the same moment as the participants and in both of our languages. Check out GIMUN’s website for the full version of the GIMUN Chronicles!

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By Ashli Molina

While Europe agreed to “close” its migrant route, blocking asylum seekers from reaching its soil, Turkey agreed to welcome them into their camps with open arms. This was made possible by a deal—let’s call it a migrant exchange—formed earlier this week at a summit between the European Union and Turkey, who put up a tough fight. The country demanded a lot of financial aid to help refugees stay in Turkey, accelerated talks about joining the E.U., and visa-free travel within the E.U. for Turkish citizens. The new deal, however, betrays European values, human rights, and fails to provide an adequate response regarding the worsening refugee crisis. It is a quick fix that benefits all of Europe. Read the rest of this entry »

Britain and the EU: Defining Change

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By Frederick Brock

The Context

A recent poll conducted by ORB International put British support for withdrawing from European Union membership at 52%.[1] This figure fluctuates from month to month, with June-September showing a consistent lead for staying in and current support for remaining in the EU at 48%. With such a close race to the finish and a referendum on membership around the corner in 2017, it seems remarkable that the continental press is paying so little attention to what’s going on. The political ramifications of ‘Brexit’ – aka British exit – could be more far reaching than even the migration crisis in terms of its impact on Europe’s future. Read the rest of this entry »

“Other Europes”, Book Review

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Review of Identities and foreign policies in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus: the Other Europes, a book by Stephen White and Valentina Feklyunina published in 2014.

By Nataliya Borys, University of Geneva (Global Studies Institute).

What does “belonging to Europe” mean for the European Union (EU)’s eastern neighbors? What role did competing visions of “Europe” and ideas of belonging or exclusion play in the fates of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in the post-Soviet period? To what extent are these countries “European”? These are some of the questions asked by Stephen White and Valentina Feklyunina in their new book about political identities and foreign policies in post-Soviet Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Read the rest of this entry »

The European Union: Outmanoeuvred by a Populist Century?

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by Frederick Brock

The number of asylum-seekers who reach the Southern coasts of Europe has soared dramatically since last year as numerous violent conflicts such as the one in Syria continue to force migration. Image source: Flickr/ Royal Navy Media Archive (Creative Commons)
The number of people reaching the Southern coasts of Europe in search for asylum has soared dramatically since last year. Image source: Flickr/ Royal Navy Media Archive (Creative Commons).

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Husein, recently criticised a columnist in a British tabloid for ‘inciting racial hatred’ and referring to migrants attempting the Mediterranean crossing as ‘cockroaches.’ [1] The tabloid in question has the widest readership of any paper in Britain. The High Commissioner went on to compare the xenophobia in elements of the British press as akin to that found in propaganda produced by Rwandan media outlets prior to the genocide in the 1990’s. Self-evidently such sentiment has no place in any society that professes to be civilised, however the increasing confidence and impunity with which those not simply on the fringes of the political spectrum, but the mainstream as well, attack migrants is a worrying development for all in Europe. Our history as a continent is an illustration of where divisive, anti-migrant and nationalist rhetoric can lead. The modern migrant crisis, with 1 in every 122 people displaced due to war, environmental pressures and state oppression, is a situation unprecedented in the years since the formation of the European Union. [2] This article will consider the potential havoc the invocation of resurgent nationalist identities across the continent, partially in response to this crisis, could cause to one of the biggest political projects in the modern world: the European Union.

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The European Asylum Policy – Failure of the Dublin III Regulation?

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 by Jan Alexander Linxweiler

It is already hard to imagine what it must feel like to be displaced, to be forced to leave home, to be persecuted and not welcomed anywhere. Even harder to imagine is the horror and despair of those who die while trying to come to a presumed secure and just system – to the EU. On the 30th of September 2013 more then 300 refugees experienced this ordeal off the Italian island of Lampedusa and died in the cause. Since then reports of tragic deaths at the European boarders are becoming more and more frequent, as the number of refugees are increasing. Subsequently the influx of refugees into the EU is increasing as well. At the same time the Common European Asylum System seams to fail in providing adequate protection and reception conditions; resulting in inhuman treatment and deaths.

This paper wants to offer a reasonable and possible solution within the existing Asylum System. Therefore it presents the Refuge Protection within the two dimensions: the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the Common European Asylum System. Within the Common European Asylum System the paper focuses upon the definition of the refugee status and the Dublin System. After presenting and discussing the weaknesses of this exact System the paper will present (in short) a possible solution to the raised problems and weaknesses. Read the rest of this entry »