refugees

  • The Relocation of the Iron Curtain to the Middle East: the Polish and Slovak Position Towards the EU Migration and Asylum Policy

    The current EU migration and asylum policy crisis has been perceived to constitute one of the most serious challenges for European security. The attitude of fear and reluctance towards admission of cultural others (including: refugees, asylum seekers and the immigrants) has been particularly visible in the V4 countries. The aim of this paper is therefore to examine the grounds of such a position with reference to general European tendencies as well as specific features of attitudes of Poland and Slovakia as the representatives of V4 countries in the light of their particular economic and social situation. Due to volume limitations the author will focus mainly on the two presented States. The decision regarding choice of Poland arises from the fact that as the only V4 State it has voted in favour of the mandatory quota of relocation of 120.000 refugees. Instead Slovakia constitutes the most vivid example pro-European parties changing rhetoric for more national which is quite transparent for the V4 countries. The whole analysis has been conducted in the specific context of relocation of the symbolic division of Europe an replacement of ideological Iron Curtain with cultural Velvet Curtain which leads to the phenomenon of culturalisation. 

  • Vishegradskaja gruppa v Evropejjskom sojuze: migracija i solidarnost

    Solidarity as one of the main values of the European Union is also recognizedamong the guiding principles of the EU asylum policy. In the period of the migrationcrisis, this principle was the most important for the EU Member Statesand very difficult to implement. The purpose of this article is to analyze the concept of solidarity, as enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty, as well as in the positions of the Member States and EU institutions. The article highlights the current debate, initiated by the Visegrad group under the Slovakian Presidency in the Council, around the proposed “flexible” or “effective solidarity” in asylum policy. Thus, the author contributes to understanding the ways, problems and prospects of refugees’ relocation, as well as the upcoming reform of the Dublin system. Based on the study of the summits conclusions, Council meetings in its various formats, the EU leaders’ statements, the author considers that divergence not only of the Member States positions, but also those of the EU institutions on the specific forms of participation in managing migration and asylum could entail more fragmentation and differentiation within the Union. At the same time, the author reveals the contradiction in the Visegrad countries’ position: while dreaming about re-nationalization of asylum and engaging in confrontation with the Commission the CEE countries by no means intend to introduce and maintain border control within the Schengen area.

  • THE POSITION OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ON THE MIGRANT CRISIS IN EUROPE

    The migrant crisis in Europe, which reached its zenith in 2015, made EU politicians realize the urgent need for a more effective migration policy that would rely more on supranational cooperation. Absence of this policy triggers migrant influx to Europe, in particular of unqualified labour force, and enhances illegal migration from which organized criminal groups profit enormously. Moreover, uncontrolled migration processes give rise to a number of social, economic, political and cultural problems all across the EU, and thus nurture the Eurosceptic mood. This leads to societal negation of the European integration project and provides fertile soil to the spread of radicalism and xenophobia. The aim of the study is to capture the position of European Parliament on recent migrant crisis. The Parliament, a democratically legitimate body, which claims the right to represent European societies, advocates adoption of systemic EU approach to migration which should be based on the respect of human rights and creation of legal migration pathways for refugees and workers needed by Europe. The solution of the present migrant crisis is sought by the EP in moving towards a common, comprehensive European immigration policy and enhanced solidarity of EU member states in response to increased influx of refugees from conflict zones.

  • The Response of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to the Crisis of Soviet Jewish Émigré Dropouts (Noshrim) in the 1970s

    The JDC is an American Jewish organization that assists overseas Jewish communities in distress. It is responsible to “American Jewry” and those organizations that fund it. Bauer (1974, 19) argued that the JDC has been guided by its founding “pledge of impartiality – it steers clear of political involvements” and takes pride in being “probably the only really non-partisan organization in Jewish life.” This paper examines the role of the JDC in caring for Soviet émigrés who left on visas for Israel but chose to resettle elsewhere. They were known as “dropouts” (Noshrim in Hebrew). It also deals with the JDC policy toward recently settled Russian Jews who left Israel to resettle elsewhere. In its work with Soviet Jewish emigres did the JDC serve the interests of the Israeli government, its donors and or the emigres? Did the JDC abide by its pledge of impartiality? Did the JDC try to force them to resettle in Israel against their wishes? The paper focuses on the spring of 1976 when the number of dropouts outnumbered those resettling in Israel. This led to a joint committee of Israelis and American Jews to coordinate a response. The ‘freedom of choice’ debate ensued; should Soviet Jews resettle in Israel or have the freedom to choose where to resettle? The findings here are based on archival records in the JDC, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), the CJF (Jewish federations) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The author also conducted interviews and reviewed secondary sources. The paper should contribute to a better understanding of the JDC and its past ties to Israel and the American Jewish community.

  • Israeli Identity on the Run: the Quest for a NonNational Position in Contemporary Israeli Literature

    My essay discusses a new attempt in young Israeli novels to break out of the suffocation and stagnation of the dominant literary protagonist. The discussion revolves around Ilai Rowner’s recent novel, Deserter (2015), which suggests ‘desertion’ as an option of to overcome nationalized structures of the self and of break new ground for its existence. The protagonist’s escape and a quest for a non-national position are destined to failure, however, reflecting the current state of political consciousness among young Israeli authors, and, I argue, the unthinkability of political exile in contemporary Israeli novels. The discussion presented here follows the renewed interest in Hanna Arendt’s exemplary essay “We Refugees” (1943) in light of the current refugees’ crisis in Europe among scholars such as Giorgio Agamben, Amal Jamal and Itamar Mann. While Agamben develops a phenomenology of being-a-refugee, severing the bond between nation and territory, his work lacks an experiential account of being a refugee. In light of this absence, I argue that Rowner’s protagonist remains blind to the particular identities he encounters, actively erasing the profound differences between deserters and refugees, persecutors and persecuted. While he recognizes the haunted element in him, Rowners’ protagonist’s obliviousness to the specific experiential trappings of his own story effectively sterilizes the novel’s political acuity through the effort to adopt an all-human perspective.

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