1 December, 2015: Public panel discussion 'Understanding the Refugee Crisis in Europe'

Why are so many refugees knocking at the doors of Europe? What to make of Europe's—or rather: the various European countries'—response to this challenge? These urgent questions will be addressed in the public panel discussion 'After Alan Kurdi: Understanding the Refugee Crisis in Europe'. Leiden University's Institute of Political Science has invited four speakers to explore the current crisis. You are welcome to join them on Tuesday 1 December 2015, from 15:15 to 17:00.

Open doors, anti-immigration walls

Although the Syrian conflict has been going on for more than four years, only recently has the number of refugees coming to Europe significantly increased. It was not until this summer that the issue has been re-framed in terms of a “refugee crisis”. The death of Kurdish refugee Alan Kurdi has certainly been a turning point, shifting the focus from a primarily security-oriented to a more humanitarian approach.

This shift has not been uncontroversial. The “open doors” policy of Austria and Germany have not been shared by all EU member states. Viktor Orban’s Hungary, for instance, has built a wall to keep refugees out, and many south-eastern European countries are threatening to follow suit. In the richer countries of Western Europe, political parties are similarly afraid of being perceived “soft on migrants” in front of an increasingly xenophobic electorate.

Geopolitical drives and domestic implications

Yet what are exactly the details of recent influx of refugees in Europe? Is it really a “crisis”? What are the geopolitical factors of the phenomenon and how has it re-shaped domestic politics in Europe?

These issues will be addressed by

  • Ruud Koole (Institute of Political Science, Leiden University),
  • Thomas Spijkerboer (Faculty of Law, Vrije Universiteit),
  • Beste İşleyen (Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam), and
  • Julien Jeandesboz, (Department of Political Science, ULB Brussels)

Time, venue

  • Tuesday 1 December 2015, 15:15-17:00

  • Faculty of Social Science, Leiden University

  • Pieter de la Court Building, room 1.A20 (Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, Netherlands)

Last Modified: 19-11-2015