The EU’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis: a battleground among many Europes
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CitationSaatçioğlu, B. (November 08, 2020). The EU’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis: a battleground among many Europes. European Politics and Society, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/23745118.2020.1842693
This article examines the European Union (EU)’s response to the 2015–2016 refugee crisis. Departing from the understanding that Europe is a contested phenomenon, it investigates how different – Thick, Thin, Parochial and Global – Europes influenced the EU’s management of the crisis culminating in the March 2016 EU-Turkey ‘refugee deal’. Two findings are advanced. First, European actors reacted differently to the EU’s initially attempted Thick Europe approach to the crisis, following their respective Europe conceptions. Second, faced with growing divisions, they ultimately united around a lowest common denominator solution represented by the refugee deal which illustrated Thin Europe at the expense of a more norm-based policy associated with Thick and Global Europes. The findings demonstrate the significance of embedding the various European reactions to the crisis within different Europe categories while showing that consensus was still possible to tackle an external problem.