ESI's Gerald Knaus spoke at an event in Istanbul organised by Columbia Global Centers and ESI.
The Syrian refugee crisis is putting a huge strain on Turkey, the Balkans and some countries in the EU. While Germany welcomes Syrian refugees, other EU countries refuse to accept any. Throughout the EU, right-wing parties prejudiced against Muslims are gaining support. The EU has proposed many solutions which so far have failed to make any difference.
What can be done? Which proposals stand any chance of making a difference? What role can Turkey play? How does the deterioration of the situation in Syria impact on the European refugee debate? And how to stop people from drowning in the Aegean?
ESI has argued since September that Turkey, Germany and Greece hold the key to any solution. This crisis will either destroy the international asylum system as we know it or mark a step forward towards a more just a regime to deal with asylum. It may mark the decline of human rights values in the EU or see them reaffirmed in the face of resistance.
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In recent months ESI presented its proposal across Europe:
Berlin – Brussels – Moscow – Stockholm – Vienna – Warsaw – Ankara/Istanbul – Sofia
The Hague – Paris – Berlin – Washington DC – Athens – Munich
ESI's work on visa liberalisation and EU-Turkey relations is supported by