The globe has switched to a new checkpoint. For several years we were almost sure that the liberal paradigm of International Relations and democratic peace, was in the forefront of the foreign policy of national governments. However today this has changed and we are onwards a period of new nationalism (The Economist 2016). The wind of 2017 does not seem to be a wind of change, quite the contrary, a musty wind of conservatism. Multilateralism and Global Governance are being targeted, while the ‘’stronger together’’ slogan, is replaced by the ‘’ take our country back’’. The loud winners are populists, nationalists and atavists against humanitarianism, global change and social progress.
Marine Le Pen in France endorses Trump’s election as ‘’a sign of hope for those who cannot bear wild globalisation, the political life led by the elites.” (CNN 2016) Donald Trump in the US glorifies Nigel Farage as ‘’the man behind Brexit and a man who led, brilliantly, the United Kingdom Independence Party”. (The Telegraph 2016) Nigel Farage jokes on the role he could play in Trump’s administration that he ‘’ would do that job very well.” (The Telegraph 2016) Rejep Tayip Erdogan in Turkey has started an anti-kemalist – revisionist movement after the coup and threatens to end refugee deal in row over EU accession. (The Guardian 2016) Vladimir Putin in Russia also threatens the EU of natural gas cut off.The M5S political party of Bebe Grillo in Italy increases call for referendum on euro after the resignation of Matteo Renzi (The Guardian 2016). The neo-fascist Golden Dawn party, one of Europe’s most violent far-right parties has achieved to be the third place in the last elections in Greece.
Europe is not a place of stability anymore nor the central point of a region of friendly regimes. In fact Europe today is surrounded by a ring of new Autocrats. In the same time the chaos of the Middle East and the Syrian refugee crisis is becoming day by day an increasingly terrifying threat for the European and regional security. War has displaced half of all people in Syria. Three in four Syrian refugees have ended up in Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan, according to UN figures from February 2016. The number of Syrians seeking safety in Europe more than doubled from 2014 to 2015. Many left Turkey and other countries for Europe to search for asylum, a status that allows someone to live and work legally in another country. Three out of five Syrians seeking asylum in Europe are in Germany, Sweden or Serbia. Relatively large numbers of Syrians also have sought asylum in Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Denmark. Gulf countries including Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain closed the door by offering zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees, a fact that complicates more the situation for Europe. (CNN 2016)
How can we end the paradox of the New Autocrats and reiterate the world’s course towards globalisation?
A significant number of european citizens are aging. The methodology to ‘’ roll rationalism back ’’ in the national societies, can be achieved by changing the perspective on how we politically understand the refugees of the Middle East. War, terrorism, climate change, famine, inequality and globalisation are factors that are converting the migrating populations movement to a problem that we will be experiencing at least for another generation. Refugees can be either passivated or radicalised and both of these methods are bound to have negative effects that will lead to a new rise of terrorism in the future. The people from Syria and the rest of the Middle East, that seek a better life in Europe, should not be viewed as a social threat, but as a social investment.
A huge part of today’s refugees, will either stay in the European countries that they have moved in or will return to rebuild their country in the future (CNN 2016). The national governments must take migration as a chance to invest on the refugees as potential power of change in their countries. To be seen as the future architects and builders of the new Syria, Middle East and Europe. But most of all, to be seen as the future of their host country, as within them lies an opportunity to bring back humanity to the old, and generate it for the young. There has never been, perhaps, a greater opportunity to cultivate acceptance and compassion. This is the only way on how the new Autocracy can end.
By Pantelis A. Poetis
1)The Economist, The New Nationalism: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21710249-his-call-put-america-first-donald-trump-latest-recruit-dangerous
2)Syrian Refugees EU, The Syrian Refugees and its repercutions to the EU: http://syrianrefugees.eu
3)Amnesty International,Syria’s refugee crisis in numbers: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/02/syrias-refugee-crisis-in-numbers/
4) Bixler Mark, Martinez Michael, CNN News, War forced half of all Syrians from home. Heres’s where they went: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/11/world/syria-refugee-crisis-when-war-displaces-half-a-country/
5) Nelson Cassandra, CNN News, Syria’s traumatized refugee children will be the ones to rebuild their country: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/23/opinion/syria-million-child-refugees-mercy-corps/index.html
6) BBC News, Migrant Crisis: Migration to Europe explained in seven charts:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34131911
7) The Guardian, Syrian Refugee crisis: why has it become so bad?: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/04/syrian-refugee-crisis-why-has-it-become-so-bad
8) The telegraph, How the West is underestimating the Syrian refugee crisis in 7 charts: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/22/how-the-west-is-underestimating-the-syrian-refugee-crisis-in-7-c/
9) Meritt A. Ian , Brookings,5 policy options for the Syrian refugee crisis:https://www.brookings.edu/blog/markaz/2016/08/05/5-policy-options-for-the-syrian-refugee-crisis/
10) Semotiuk J. Andy, Forbes, How to deal with the Syrian Refugee crisis: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andyjsemotiuk/2015/12/03/how-to-deal-with-the-syrian-refugee-crisis/#59303e524ac3
11) CNN News, Marine Le Pen: Impossible made possible by Trump win:
11) The telegraph, Watch: How Nigel Farage became friends with Donald Trump: //www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/16/watch-how-nigel-farage-became-friends-with-donald-trump/ 13) The Guardian,Turkey threatens to end refugee deal in row over EU accession:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/25/turkey-threatens-end-refugee-deal-row-eu-accession-erdogan 14)The Guardian, Top official in Italy’s M5S increases call for referendum on euro:
15)The Guardian, Neo-fascist Greek party takes third place in wave of voter fury: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/21/neo-fascist-greek-party-election-golden-dawn-third-place
16) Image 1: Der Tagesspiegel, Die neue Lust auf Autokraten:
17) Image 2: ABC News,Syrian Civil War Photos: