2 Methodological Approach in:

Angelika C. Dankert

Europe under Pressure, page 3 - 4

The Development of the European Union under the Influence of the Arab Spring, the Refugee Crisis and the Global Threat of Terrorism

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-3971-7, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-6688-1,

Series: Wissenschaftliche Beiträge aus dem Tectum Verlag: Rechtswissenschaften, vol. 93

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
Methodological Approach This research paper aims to provide an overall picture of the development of the European Union under the influence of the Arab Spring, the refugee crisis and the global threat of terrorism by providing a selected analysis on legal, security and intercultural aspects. Challenges arise from external geopolitical affairs triggering e.g. security concerns as well as European citizens’ fear of foreign infiltration and cultural struggle. The paper defines the multiple challenges across different areas, portrays how the EU is coping with the crisis and provides recommendations on major topics. The Union is a supranational entity consisting of 28 member states. Covering all perspectives on legal codes, ongoing intercultural debates and challenges as well as indepth analyses of political movements would go beyond the scope of this paper. For obvious reasons, the Federal Republic of Germany is therefore exemplarily used and examined according to the methodological approach explained below. The thesis is based on qualitative and quantitative data, however, exclusively secondary data has been used for the research. The research paper is primarily built on two equivalent pillars, aiming to facilitate the reader’s understanding of complex national and geopolitical processes by providing background knowledge on the ‘European Union’ and the ‘Arab Spring’ in chapters 3 and 4. The paper introduces the topic to the reader by explaining the structure, functioning and development of the EU, starting from its early beginnings and progress until today, reaching a high economic and political integration as supranational entity. Roles and tasks of European institutions are defined and the Union’s goals are portrayed in order to comprehend the purpose of a united Europe. As second pillar, the paper illuminates the backgrounds and uprising of the Arab Spring, as well as the roots of pan-Arab sentiments, in order to understand the drivers of the movement. The spill-over effect of the Arab Spring is examined to create an in-depth understanding of the ‘refugee crisis’ and the ongoing turmoil, which is still causing people to flee. The examination demands further investigation of the role of international, religiously oriented terrorism as global threat and the significance of Western imperialism, root for ingrained anti-Western sentiments, yet often neglected in the overall portray. In Chapter 5, the paper aims at identifying diverse challenges the EU is facing today, including the impact of globalization, a partially perceived heteronomy and the debate on compatibility of oriental and occidental value systems resulting in a shift to the political right across the European Union. In a time of globally acting terrorist organizations and citizens’ increasing doubts about the Union’s capability to guarantee internal security, the EU is challenged to balance supranational and national as well as 2 3 external and internal interests to sustainably guide and cope with the situation on the innate ground of European values. Chapter 6 focuses on legal aspects by connecting the process of European integration to the development of the Schengen area and by defining the tasks of Frontex as European border management. Legal aspects concerning the refugee crisis are discussed by the exemplary portrayal of Germany’s Aliens and Asylum Law. The chapter does not assert a claim to be exhaustive, as there are many more details and constellations that might be considered when discussing Asylum Law, but the overview provides the necessary background to understand the complexity and the difficulties during the ongoing crisis. As result of the increased level of religiously motivated terrorism in the 21st century, chapter 7 defines ‘terror’ and what the author refers to as ‘terror 2.0,’ focusing on the unpredictability and anonymity of today’s terrorism as global threat. An analysis of previous terrorist attacks and a demarcation from domestically acting groups striving for independence gives the reader an overall view of the current challenge the EU is facing with reference to ideologically motivated jihadist violent terror organizations operating across the Union including the lone wolf phenomenon. Chapter 8 continues to point out challenges with focus on the intercultural perspective. Multiculturalism, intercultural compatibility and perceived threats arising from the fear of foreign infiltration prevail in some parts of the Union. The challenge is to understand one’s own values and traditions before aiming to balance a variety of value systems and to find a sustainable solution for conflicting traditions and conduct, while sticking to the own roots and identity as value community and entity referred to as ‘Europe.’ Sensitive issues have to be addressed in order to provide an overall picture of the diverse parties involved in these debates. Chapter 9 portrays the multiple repercussions the Union is suffering from e.g. emerging nationalism and electoral success of the right-wing, resulting in proposals for urgently needed development in order to improve the Union’s ability to act and its efficiency. The paper concludes by giving a European outlook and by summing up the results in a final conclusion. Note: the current crisis is referred to as ‘refugee crisis,’ however, the number of economic migrants and social welfare seekers, willingly abusing the humanitarian crisis in order to gain personal benefits from European social states, has to be kept in mind. Therefore, the crisis is also referred to as ‘migrant crisis,’ as not all individuals arriving in the Single Market are ‘refugees’ according to the definition of the Geneva Refugee Convention (Article 1 (A) GRC) or in accordance with Article 16 a (1) GG. 2 Methodological Approach 4

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The past years were characterized by a massive influx of migrants crossing the Union’s external borders seeking asylum. Illegal migration, exploitation of social welfare systems, foreign infiltration and the instrumentalization of religion condensed in terror attacks determine today’s changed attitude towards foreigners, refugees and migrants and therefore strongly impact the current European political agenda.

Angelika C. Dankert describes the development of the EU and provides information on events that led to the creation and the spill-over of the Arab Spring. Roots and origin of Jihadist ideology as well as goals of religiously motivated terrorism are illustrated and European standards on morals and values are critically questioned. Through investigation of current matters in the field of law, security and interculturality, this book reveals the biggest geopolitical challenge of the 21st century.