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Dr Jeff Crisp discusses Europe's refugee crisis on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story

At the weekend, Dr Jeff Crisp (RSC Research Associate and Advisor) appeared on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story to discuss the refugee crisis in Europe and the lack of cohesive, constructive action by Europe’s politicians. Appearing alongside Gauri Van Gulik (Deputy Director, Amnesty International in Europe and Central Asia) and Demetrios Papademetriou (President, Migration Policy Institute Europe), Dr Crisp highlighted that the arrival of asylum seekers in Europe is nothing new but the EU has tended to react to it in an ad hoc way. He said “the current mess that we see in Europe is a result of the fact that there is no coherent approach and that states are acting very much in what they perceive to be their national interests rather than as a union of countries with common interests and common values.”

He also emphasized the importance of public opinion in shaping politicians responses: “for many, many years, the press and politicians have fed the idea that asylum seekers arriving in Europe are essentially what they call bogus refugees or illegal immigrants… What I see across Europe and particularly here in the UK is a new recognition that these people are genuine refugees, that they have escaped from terrible persecution and terrible situations of armed conflict, and simply putting up walls, fences and barriers to try to keep them out is not the most appropriate response. I think public opinion is going to be a very major factor in the oncoming discussion.”

Watch the full programme >>

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