The article provides a theoretically informed commentary on the ongoing migration crisis in Europe, and discusses its causes and the currently proposed solutions to it. Irregular migration to Europe is likely to remain on the agenda of the European Union for decades to come and, in order to avoid repetitive crises, further integration is needed in the European asylum system. The article suggests that the greatest threat to the security of the Baltic States comes not from irregular migration itself, but from the policy decisions that would fail to address the EU crisis caused by it.
After the establishment of the Schengen area, it was expected that its members would develop a common policy on external border management and protecting external borders. As the current refugee crisis has revealed, some countries have not met their obligations, which has led to serious difficulties in other
member states. An unusually large number of refugees are passing through the EU with the purpose of going to countries that attract refugees with better economic and social conditions. Nevertheless, in the present case the criticism at the European Union level has been targeted towards the Eastern European countries for not eagerly enough accepting the proposed refugee strategy and quotas. Estonia’s opposition to the EU-wide permanent relocation system of refugees has its roots in the conservative line that the country has followed in the national refugee policy for more than
twenty years. However in 2016 the positions among the Estonian governmental coalition differ significantly in terms of long term refugee strategy. The current article will focus on the arguments why Estonia has opted for the conservative refugee policy so far
and whether it has been in accordance with the country’s capabilities and resources. The development of Estonian refugee policy will be analysed, from regaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 to the present day. The article will also focus on security risks that might occur due to the pressure from the EU on the member states to impose decisions that do not have broad support at the national level.
In this paper we analyse emerging discourses of fear
on the one hand and safety and security on the other. In the context of rupture – sudden, unprecedented asylum flows as well as the historical context of the fear and experience of losing the state’s freedom, we pose the following research question: Where do insecurities and fear come from and how are spaces of security and safety carved out through public discourses? We argue that, instead of singling out political discourses in Eastern European as filled with hatred towards other ethnicities and races or an inability to show solidarity with human suffering, we have to open up a far more deep reaching debate on the interplay of fear and the willingness to create safer, more secure futures. We illustrate this with examples from media debates in Latvia, in late 2015.
In this article, Lithuanian discourse and institutional
management of migration is assessed, using the framework of securitization of migration offered by Jef Huysmans. In Huysmans’ work, migration is securitized not only in discourse, but also in the institutional practices of both the states and, in the case of Europe, also the EU. It is not only by talking about asylum seekers as a security problem, but also by moulding it into the practice of border control and policing (treating it in the same documents and institutions as terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime) that migration becomes a security issue. In the Lithuanian case, both discourse and institutional practice leans to treat immigration and asylum as primarily security problems. In the discursive arena, however, the topics of ‘hard’ security are clearly eclipsed by economic topics and, it is argued, the economic pressures are the ones which could explain best the hostility towards refugees and reluctant compliance with the EU relocation scheme.
This article evaluates the significance of Russian soft
power in Estonia, particularly in connection to the minority issue, and compares this soft power to the countervailing pull of the European Union on the other side. It concludes that although Russia does indeed have a number of soft power resources, their potential for being translated into actual power and influence is too often exaggerated, not least because Europe provides a much more attractive focus point for the disgruntled than Moscow. Moreover, Estonia has it fully within its power to bolster its own attractiveness in the eyes of the minority populations. Thus, although relations with Russia should be handled with care, it is not Russia’s soft power that should be feared.
between leadership and institutional control in contemporary Western military organizations. More precisely, we focus on two (out of five) NATO measures of merit, namely the Measure of Performance (MOP) and the Measure of Effectiveness (MOE), and how they manifest this tension at the operational level. We
suggest that fixed leadership roles are not enough – what is required instead is an adaptive, pragmatic and even rebellious attitude towards the military bureaucracy in the contemporary, ever-changing conflict landscape.