Internal and external dimensions of the refugee crisis in Europe

The terrorist attacks in Paris prompted calls for active foreign policy action and at the same time exposed the deepening European divisions that stem from the response to the refugee crisis

Guests

Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (video conference)

Dzhema Grozdanova, Chairperson of the Foreign Policy Affairs at the National Assembly

H.E. Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, Ambassador of the Republic of France in Bulgaria

Roumen Alexandrov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bulgaria

Bassam Al-Kuwatli, Syrian political expert and conflict management specialist

Sinan Ülgen, Chairman, Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) and Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Europ

Almut Möller, Head of ECFR Berlin Office and Senior Policy Fellow

Gerald Knaus, President of the European Stability Initiative

Svetlomira Gyurova, Capital

Ognyan Minchev, Director of Institute for Regional and International Studies

Chaired by

Vessela Tcherneva, Head of ECFR’s Sofia Office and the organisation’s Programmes Director

Boyko Vassilev, Host and producer of Panorama news talk show, Bulgarian National Television

The terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th prompted calls for active foreign policy action and at the same time exposed the deepening European divisions that stem from the response to the refugee crisis. The refugee crisis in Europe challenges the European Union in a way, which is incomparable with previous crises. While some countries today react with open doors and others with a display of anxiety, the citizens’ fears should be carefully considered. In two debates we try to explain, with the help of politicians, experts and analysts, the challenge that Bulgaria and Europe face, the possible common foreign policy responses and what this situation means for the unity in the EU. We also examine the reasons that led us to that situation and how this will affect our ability to find joint solutions in the long term.