Indisputably, migration is among the issues preoccupying the political, social and security discourse in the European context. Through the years, migration and terrorism appeared to be the two key security considerations of the EU that absorb the attention and resources on multiple levels. More recently, the appearance of hundreds of people in the Greek- Turkish land borders, allegedly with the instructions of the Turkish government, leaded many policymakers, commentators, and academics to raise the issue to the so-called “hybrid threat” to the European security. In his recent article “The mass migration as a hybrid threat to European security”, Dr. Sotiropoulos, raised such concerns. The article rightfully observes that migration could potentially be instrumentalized by countries that want to elevate their negotiating status, as the case of Turkey. Of course, the problematization regarding Turkey’s role in the migration flows to the EU has been questionable for more than a decade. Arguably, countries like Turkey could and did exploit the possibility to let potential migrants and asylum seekers through its borders as a lever pressure to obtain financially, but above all political gains from the EU. Unfortunately though, and despite the author’s intentions, the article contains some questionable points. With all due respect, I would like to raise awareness to some of those issues, to add to the broader conversation regarding migration, strongly supporting that the management of such complex and sensitive issues should be examined based on realities and facts, and not to interpretations and personal understandings. In this response, I would attempt a brief presentation of the gray areas, and wrong interpretations in Dr. Sotiropoulos article to set the conversation on a new basis.
The issues under consideration are:
1. The definition of a refugee
2. The issue of jihadist terrorism and the attention it should be given to it in the drafting of security policies
3. The EU funding to Greece in the areas of border security and migration management
Read the Policy Paper of the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, entitled Interpretation and Reality A RESPONSE TO DR IOANNIS SOTIROPOULOS: “THE MASS MIGRATION AS A HYBRID THREAT TO EUROPEAN SECURITY” by Elena Mara.