Ivan Krastev

    is a Bulgarian political scientist, based, in Sofia where he chairs the Centre for Liberal Studies. He is the editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian edition of Foreign Policy and a permanent fellow of at IWM, the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna. His most recent publications in English include Shifting Obsessions: Three Essays on the Politics of Anticorruption, co-edited with Alan McPherson, and the essay Europe’s Democracy Paradox published in The American Interest. Ivan Krastev has headed a number of research teams exploring issues from security in South-East Europe, through effects of NATO enlargement on non member states, to the current state and prospects for cooperation among South-Eastern European countries. “It has become clear that the migration crisis poses a greater existential threat to Europe than both the euro crisis and the annexation of Crimea. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, has openly warned of a dangerous rift between Europe’s West and East. But this doesn’t mean that compassion alone will resolve the problem of migrants now inundating Europe. The Hungarian philosopher and former dissident Gáspár Miklós Tamás suggested a few years ago that the Enlightenment, which forms the intellectual foundation of the European Union, calls for universal citizenship. Universal citizenship, however, depends on two things: either the poor and failing countries are transformed into countries whose citizenship is worthwhile, or Europe will open its borders to all. But neither of these options is on the horizon. We won’t solve all our problems by erecting the Statue of Liberty on Lampedusa. Libya and Syria are deterrent examples: neither Europe’s intervention in Libya nor non-intervention in Syria have prevented a war in Europe’s neighbourhood. Europe, riven by the moral duty of helping people in extreme need and the practical impossibility of helping all of them, will have to accept some and reject others. It is terrible to hear East European societies and governments claiming they have a moral right to close their doors to people who are fleeing from death. The compassion deficit is indicative of a much more profound crisis at the heart of the European project.”