THE VISEGRAD CURTAIN? CENTRAL EUROPE'S RESPONSE TO THE MIGRATION CRISIS

Andrew Wargofchik Dr. Katalin Fabian Lafayette College - Government & Law Dpt. 111 Quad Drive Easton, PA 18042

One of the most pressing debates in contemporary politics is how to best resolve the ongoing migration crisis. With over one million asylum seekers arriving in Europe during 2015, the migration crisis has deeply unsettled the European Union (EU). The EU member Visegrad Countries (V4)—the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia—implemented highly restrictive immigration policies that diverge from the Western European approach centered on the principle of solidarity. The V4 countries remain convinced that the open-door policies of Germany and the European Commission (EC) are ineffective and contrary to the continent's interests. Why have the Visegrad countries adopted anti-immigrant policies and dramatically tightened their borders? Such policies are the result of three main factors. First, the current influx of refugees has heightened Islamophobia due to the predominantly Muslim denomination of refugees from the Middle East and Africa. Second, the V4’s struggling economies and restricted natural resources have increased their unwillingness to integrate asylum seekers. Third, the rise of populist political parties throughout Europe, especially within the V4 countries, has resulted in nationalist governments aiming to court the sympathies of far right wing voters. This culturally, economically, and politically charged migration crisis has resulted in hyper-nationalistic sentiments throughout the V4 that have led these countries to prioritize their own perceived interests over a collective EU agenda. Although the V4 had disagreed on many foreign policy issues, the migration crisis has once again unified the group. An examination of the EU’s asylum policies provides the backdrop to explain why and how the V4’s restrictive immigration policies diverge from established EU norms. The conclusions drawn from this analysis point toward what the Visegrad response to the refugee crisis means for the future of democratization in the region and the global roles of the EU.


Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Andrew Wargofchik

Institution: Lafayette College

Type: Oral

Subject: International Studies

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Oral 5
Date/Time: Fri 9:20am-9:40am
Location: Fogelman Classroom Building 265
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