Refugee Crisis in Germany

The article "Europe Refugee Crisis In Germany: Berlin ‘Losing Sight Of Human Rights", by Lydia Tomkiw deals with the refugee crisis and the high entry into Germany. Since our Chancellor Angela Merkel still represents "open-arms refugee policy", assaults on refugee shelters continue to increase: right-wing extremists and racists set whole refugee houses alight, stirring up hatred and violence among locals and refugees who are simply seeking shelter and desire to live a life in peace- without fear of malicious attacks.
I consider this article informative and recommendable to read due to its realistic depiction of our political situation in Germany. It depicts important issues referring to the refugee crisis in Europe and gives a brief insight in this sadly on-going process of political unrest.

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Monday, March 7, 2016

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3 Comments

Refugees'crisis and democracy

Hi Sabrina, 

I think your observation is very accurate and applies to more countries than just in Germany. Sadly, the influx of refugees has affected the democratic reflexes of people across Europe in a negative manner. We can now see more people turning to extreme right wing political theses and we naturally wonder whether such situations might entail even darker outcomes against what we define as an open and liberal society. Is there a way to defend democracy against totalitarian movements that use democracy to spread their word of hatred and aggression against humanity? 

I am afraid I have no satisfactory answer to the above question. All I know is that fear is what feeds and grows extremism and racism. We in Europe know that we must not allow fear conquer the political agenda. We need to deal with the causes of the refugees' crisis at their starting point, the Middle East, but we also must do our best to alleviate the pain and suffering of refugeess looking for shelter in Europe. And we must be quick at allocating the costs of the crisis across all the EU member states. So far we have mostly heard to the dissonant screams of countries that were acting at their own initiative either in favor or against refugees. Alas Europe and the EU project are founded on mutual understanding, cooperation and solidarity. We saw the latter being invoked in the context of the sovereign debt crisis of the European periphery. What about solidarity as to the refugees' crisis? Europe must take the lead on celebrating human dignity by protecting the refugees it hosts. Member states that do not feel such impulse must be isolated and face punishment. Now more than ever we must show the Europe is not only an economic club but rather a political entity based on respect for the alien, deference for the different, faith to human dignity.

   

Citizens for Europe

Hi Iakovos,

Since you were asking "Is there a way to defend democracy against totalitarian movements that use democracy to spread their word of hatred and aggression against humanity?", I was reminded of an article called "Citizens for Europe" I read the other day. The author argues for a strong civil movement in the whole of Europe and across national interests - I think this to be a promising idea and a good way to counter rightwing movements across Europe.

Refugee Crisis and Democracy

Dear Iakovos and Christopher,

Thank you for your comments on this article and the reference to another important entry: "Citizens for Europe". It might approach an answer to your stated question, Iakovos.

Moreover, I would like to add some further thoughts on your ideas. I agree with your arguments, Iakovos, it is indeed a very sadly situation which does not only refer to Germany, but whole Europe.

Additionally, I do not think that there is a patent remedy for your raised question. Yet, I also hold the view that fear promotes racist attitudes and extremism. However, the pursuit of power and deep hatred are further motives for such a non-comprehensive  behavior we can observe all over Europe when it comes to refugees.

Nevertheless, I hope that people have learned from their past and apply common sense while making decisions. I hope that those who do, will spread the concept of human dignity and solidarity. I hope that Europe will overcome this difficult time which does not represent what Europe actually stands for: a community of values, solidarity and peace.

Best,

Sabrina