Tag Archives: J. Peter Burgess

Observations About Tunisia and Europe from Prof J. Peter Burgess

Here are some thoughtful insights about the Tunisian revolution and Europe from Prof. J. Peter Burgess’ blog (Prof. Burgess is a philosopher, political scientist and cultural historian and is currently Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), where he leads the Security Programme):

“A completely unique conjuncture of events has brought a new wave of undocumented migration to Europe and with it a new wave of principled challenges to European responses to it.  There is widespread awareness in Europe and elsewhere of the tidal change set off by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. Now overshadowed by hyper-mediatized events in Egypt, the ousting of Tunisia’s longstanding president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 was in some ways more decisive and dramatic than events in Egypt, though less networked. …  Yet while the mass manifestations of democratic aspirations in Egypt lead Euro-Americans to wipe a tear of self-affirmation, the democratic aspirations of Tunisians has quickly morphed into a security threat to Europe. Built on lofty principles, the European Union talks the talk, and is once again called upon to walk the walk of migrant and human rights. …”

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Filed under Analysis, European Union, Italy, Tunisia

Frontex’s 5th Anniversary

Yesterday, 25 May, marked Frontex’s fifth anniversary.  Frontex marked the occasion by holding a conference, European Day for Border Guards, “publicising the work of 400,000 border guards in Europe [and] providing a forum for discussion and the exchange of best practices.”

Here is an interesting and thoughtful post on the Frontex anniversary by Professor J. Peter Burgess:

“… FRONTEX is quickly and quietly evolving into a kind of moral testing ground for Europe. It is here that the airy principles of European construction meet the pavement, where decisions are made about the role of rights and responsibilities in the management of Europe’s most dilemma-ridden challenge: the management of its external borders.  Border control is the operational theater where Europe meets its others: other worlds, other human beings, other values. It is here where the aspirations of those who long to embrace Europe, to be European, live under the protection of Europe’s social and economic well-being are confronted with European ideals of tolerance and universal rights. It’s also the place where Europe meets its ‘other’ other: trafficking, smuggling and other forms of cross-border criminality. The coherence with which Europe manages its others in both these forms is one measure of the success of the European project.….”

Click here for the full post.

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Filed under Analysis, European Union, Frontex, News