September 22 2015 - by Dr. Elena Pnevmonidou, University of Victoria
Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Syriza Party, achieved a decisive victory in the Greek national election that will enable him to secure a majority government in coalition with his former partner, the nationalist right-of-centre Anel Party. In doing so, Tsipras defied the predictions of polls that consistently placed him either in a deadlock with the conservative New Democrat Party or even trailing behind. Yesterday’s election results are remarkable indeed. For one, Tsipras ran on a platform that one might call the diametrical opposite of the populist anti-austerity platform that secured his landslide victory in the January 2015 election.
September 15 2015 - by Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly, Director of the European Union Centre of Excellence & Jean Monnet Center of Excellence, University of Victoria
This current migration crisis represents the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War; it is forcing Europeans to face their past and future issues; and the decisions they make will either give way to xenophobic ills or rejuvenate the 21st century Europe.
In recent years, all of the member states of the European Union, whether from the east or the west, the south or the northern parts of Europe, have become reasonably attractive to economic - legal or illegal - migrants. For instance, Germany has become a land of opportunity in the Middle and Far East. But since 2014, the flows of economic immigrants and migrants have turned into flows of refugees as asylum seekers attempt to enter Europe continually. These flows have increased tenfold over the last 12 months: between July 2014 and July 2015 the number of registered entries into the EU increased from 6000 to 50,000 Since the beginning of this year, about 350,000 people have crossed the European Union's southern and peripheral member states' borders. By the end of the year, the European Union is expecting that its member states will have welcomed about 1 million refugees; of these 800,000 will enter into Germany and 100,000 into Sweden.