Refugee crisis on EU territory – consequences in a Danish and Polish perspective
The current refugee crisis on European soil, the tough rhetoric characterising much of the political debate surrounding it and the right-wing parties gaining momentum all over Europe are events that combined have motivated this master’s thesis. The thesis therefore aims to examine to what extent national cultural and historical aspects can contribute to an understanding of Denmark and Poland’s responses to the refugee crisis, including these member states’ positions on the EU’s handling of the crisis. For this purpose, the hermeneutic method and two theoretical perspectives are applied. More specifically, the empirical basis of the thesis is analysed in the following perspectives: 1) the concept of social capital, including trust, cf. Robert David Putnam, Gert Tinggaard Svendsen and Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen, and 2) the significance of the nation state’s borders and the multiculturalist, supranationalist and migration-related threats against these cf. Thierry Baudet and Paul Scheffer.
It is found that specific national cultural and historical aspects in Denmark and Poland respectively contribute to a nuanced understanding, interpretation and explanation of these two member states' responses to the refugee crisis, including their positions on the EU’s handling of the crisis. In relation to Denmark, the welfare state, characterised by a unique stock of social capital based on a high level of trust, a strong norm of reciprocity and social networks, constitutes a central aspect which profoundly influences the Danish response to the refugee crisis. As such, the response is characterised by a strong wish to protect the Danish welfare society and its social cohesion, illustrated not least by the temporary reintroduction of border control and a restrictive migration policy.
In the case of Poland, it is turbulent events in the country’s history, characterised by a lack of independence, stability and homogeneity as well as a strong position of the Catholic church, that constitute central aspects which profoundly influence the Polish response to the refugee crisis and, more generally, its wish for an intergovernmental EU. As such, it is found that this perspective pro- vides an explanation for the great emphasis Poland places on the protection of its borders as well as the homogeneity and stability characterising the Polish society today.Considering these findings, the thesis concludes that the tendency of Denmark and Poland to respond nationally to the refugee crisis rather than engage fully in the EU’s supranational handling of the crisis can be explained in the light of the above-mentioned specific national cultural and historical aspects.
|Educations||Cand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||111|