‘WELCOMING CULTURE’ IN EUROPE AND BEYOND
ORGANISERS | Ayhan Kaya and Alexander K. Nagel
Reception policies, practices and humanitarian responses to the migration of refugees in contemporary Europe and beyond are of great concern for state actors, European Union institutions, private individual actors and refugees. Despite efforts to achieve harmonization, many differences exist in this field in the countries that are the object of research including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Sweden, UK, Turkey and Lebanon.
In the age of right-wing populism, reception policies have become even a greater debate in many countries. In 2015, most Europeans welcomed thousands of refugees. The media covered the exodus as well as the arrival of the refugees. An exceptional number of volunteers began to assist, and local governments, state actors, European institutions and international institutions provided accommodation and assistance. Despite the fears of terrorism, economic problems and financial problems, there was a strong consensus about accepting refugees in need. This consensus still continues, even if there is a growing stream of resistance against refugees from right-wing populist circles.
We will explore how reception policies and practices in the European Union and beyond have changed since 2011 and especially since 2015, and how citizens and refugees responded. Some papers address the role of the European Commission, relevant EU agencies, the role of Member State governments and local governments, the UNHCR, and NGOs. Others contribute with country-specific case studies covering the above mentioned actors, or focus on one particular actor to help us develop a typology of these policies, practices and responses.