Whatever Happened to Solidarity and Humanity in the European Project? Closing Borders. Wringing Greece. Ignoring Lampedusa. Spitting on Traumatized Refugees.
Solidarity and humanity lie at the heart of the European project, alongside economic cooperation. Or at least they did in the post-WWII era and during times of economic prosperity. Yet, in the last few years, solidarity and humanity are increasingly difficult to identify as core values in Europe. Increasingly, EU countries are considering to close their borders or have already done so. When mass amounts of migrants posed difficult management problems for Greece and Italy in particular in the last decade, other European states looked away and refused to address it as a European problem. When Greece suffered from huge financial strain, the vernacular of the discussion was the economic language to the almost full exclusion of solidarity with the Greek people. German and Dutch politicians even threatened with expulsion. And after waiting many years in warzones or refugee camps without any prospect, the often traumatized refugees that flee from the horrors of war, from ISIS, from Assad, are treated as if they were the fundamentalists they themselves flee from, are threatened and even spitted on. What happened to Europe? Or have the ideas of solidarity and humanity in Europe always been hollow promises that went mostly untested? What is solidarity? Do we need solidarity? And do we need to differentiate between solidarity in the polis Europe, in the economic EU, and in the financial Eurozone? How can we make sense of the apparent contradiction between on the one hand a majority of Europeans that support the European project, the EU and the euro, and, on the other, these recent occurrences of national isolation?
It is questions like these and others that are discussed during the next PIL Talks! @VU, taking place on Thursday 14 April at 17.15, in the open Concilium area of the Law Faculty (Initium building). For more information, contact Marieke de Hoon.
The PIL Talks! discussions are open for all to attend, whether you want to stop by to listen in or want to be engaged in the discussion more actively. Some drinks will be provided but you are free to also bring your own. The pitches that will kick off this discussion are given by professors and students, among others, Gareth Davies, Professor of European Union Law and Tasniem Anwar, student of the Master Law & Politics of International Security.
PIL Talks! @VU Discussing world events & global politics from a Public International Law perspective Concilium, 2nd floor Initium building The date for the last PIL Talks! 2015/2016 session is 9 June – 17.15h