Solidarity – from the Heart or by Force? The Failed German Leadership in the Eu's Refugee and Migrant Crisis
27 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 2019
In 2015 and 2016, the European Union (EU) and (some of) its member states faced a very high number of asylum-seekers. Germany, which particularly was affected by this inflow, sought to ‘europeanise’ the phenomenon and to distribute the loads more evenly across the EU – but met major resistance. Contrarily to the widely held view that Germany, in recent years, had shaped European politics, it largely failed with its main policy proposals in the refugee and migrant crisis. To uncover the reasons, this contribution applies an analytical framework of political leadership and post-functionalist theory. Based on the latest academic research, relevant newspaper articles and self-conducted expert interviews, it is argued that there might have been supply of but not sufficient demand for successful German political leadership. The largely failed German leadership is illustrated by two characteristics: first, the setting-up and poor implementation of a European relocation mechanism for refugees; and second, a course correction with regards to its policy proposals by the German government itself in the course of the crisis.
Keywords: Migration policy, asylum policy, EU, Germany, leadership, negotiation.
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