Although border fences have continued to grow, they are still far from watertight, and one must hope this “Fortress Europe” will never be finalised. Fences – be they material or constructed through law – are highly anachronistic in a world where wealth, markets, capital flows, labour and communication are all increasingly viewed in global terms. Family ties can be as transnational as personal identities, through dual-nationality or by the simple fact that individuals, either voluntarily or involuntarily, often live and work in different countries. The humanitarian refugee crisis is deeply interconnected with these trends, therefore it is highly unlikely that any border-fence will stop people from migrating from the global south to the global north. However, this does not mean that the world should be overwhelmed or paralyzed by the current crisis. On the contrary, we face a historical challenge that demands joint efforts at the international, regional, national, and local levels. It is time to engage a multitude of actors, not just governments and institutions, but also civil society, including the migrants themselves. In the absence of precedents and growing uncertainty about the future, the world needs innovative ideas, courage, and especially a drastic change of perspective.
Dahrendorf Analyisis 1/2016
by Annette Jünemann (2016)
About the authors
Dr. Annette Jünemann is a member of the Dahrendorf Working Group Europe and the MENA-region.