Special Issue: Crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean and COVID-19

Article


Fouskas, V., Gökay, B. and Vankovska, B. 2020. Special Issue: Crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean and COVID-19. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies. 22 (3), pp. 295-305. https://doi.org/10.1080/19448953.2020.1755154
AuthorsFouskas, V., Gökay, B. and Vankovska, B.
Abstract

In this discussion with Vassilis K. Fouskas and Bülent Gökay, Biljana Vankovska explores the complexities of the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean centred around the issue of refugees/migrants/asylum seekers. Fouskas argues that the Turkish government has weaponized the refugees in a hybrid warfare against a hypocritical Europe and NATO, with Russia being the real winner in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. Further, he believes that Europe’s future, following the massive crisis of the first semester of 2015 when Syriza capitulated to Germany’s pressure, is once again played out in Greece. As a solution to the crisis, he argues for a Balkan solidarity pact allowing the refugees/migrants to go where they want: northern Europe. Gökay shifts the debate to human security and humanitarian concerns and points to the desperate situation of tens of thousands of refugees, which requires a Europe-wide response, especially in conditions of Corona virus pandemic. He claims that placing the blame squarely on Greece or/and Turkey rather misses the larger context, and focuses on the responsibility of the EU and its ineffective asylum system and health provision mechanisms. Further, in the face of a totally bankrupt EU policy, Vassilis claims that responses to COVID-19 should include the revival of debates about a counter-hegemonic socialist/co-federal perspective across the Balkans and the Near East. The articles edited for this issue provided the crucial underpinnings for this topical discussion. We thank all the contributors to this special issue of JBNES that have informed our points of view laid out below.

JournalJournal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies
Journal citation22 (3), pp. 295-305
ISSN1944-8953
Year2020
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/19448953.2020.1755154
Publication dates
Online22 Apr 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited11 May 2020
Copyright holder© 2020 Taylor & Francis
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