open Democracy: The undesirables of the world and how universality changed camp

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: According to Ash Amin, Europe has gone within a space of a few years from 85% acceptance rate for asylum seekers in the 1990s to 85% rejection by the end of the last decade. 

He continues: The West, which had endorsed the posture of the free world, wanted to become a place of welcome for all the people sent packing from the Soviet Bloc or who had managed to escape. The occidental world, with the United States and Europe as its leaders, declared themselves the bearers of the notion of universality. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the need for a universality rhetoric has dissolved or changed camp, showing the subjective and relative nature of universality itself.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall refugee and migrant status was no longer a universal right because it was a “matter for negotiation,” according to him. 

Probably this gray zone that Amin writes about could shed light on the moral state of Europe these days with respect to refugees and the rise of right-wing populist parties. There is no clear enemy like the Soviet Union as before so its ok to bend some of our civil right laws as we have seen happening in the United States.

If we speak of justice on the one hand but send refugees without thinking twice to be killed, persecuted or tortured in the countries they came from, are we not eroding those very values that hold us together as a society?


Ash Amin

Within the space of a few years, Europe has gone from an 85% acceptance rate for asylum seekers in the 90’s to an 85% rejection rate by the end of the 2000’s.

Read whole story.

Thank to @refugeevoice for the heads up.

  1. Allan

    Rates, but what about the volumes? How many asylum seekers there were in the 90’s vs. the end of the 2000’s?