This page showcases the insights of Dr Emmanuel Comte into topical challenges and debates about human movement in Europe. It provides you with key instruments for deciphering current events. Several of these analyses have made their way into op-eds in major newspapers or are accessible on Dr Comte’s Substack platform. By subscribing to Dr Comte’s Substack, you can ensure you stay current with his latest publications.

August – The Lausanne legacy in a new European light: A re-examination of Greek-Turkish relations
A century on from the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne, on 24 July 1923, a pivotal moment in European history, we consider its enduring impact, its changing relevancy in our age of European integration, and most crucially, its implications on Greek-Turkish relations. Conceived in the tumult of the Ottoman Empire’s disintegration in 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne was a beacon of resolution for Greek-Turkish conflicts. It accomplished this by organising population exchanges and territorial transfers, which in turn fortified the notion of homogeneous nation-states – a concept increasingly at odds with the intricacies of today’s Europe.

July #2 – The bad government: The deep roots of France’s unrest and why more immigration restrictions will make things worse
Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s frescoes adorning the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena tell a timeless tale of governance. They portray a city flourishing under just laws and crumbling under misrule. The latter side of this allegory rings alarmingly relevant today, as the recent riots in France paint a destructive urban tableau, mirroring the narrative of government failure. The situation has deteriorated so drastically that widespread use of force is now inevitable, especially to remove the military arsenal flourishing in the suburbs. Yet, addressing the faulty policies which led to this situation is just as paramount. French decline has reached such depths because all political parties have fixated on ineffective responses and have overlooked the roots of the problem.

July #1 – Le mauvais gouvernement: Les causes profondes des émeutes en France et pourquoi de nouvelles restrictions à l’immigration aggraveront encore la situation

Les fresques d’Ambrogio Lorenzetti ornant le Palazzo Pubblico à Sienne racontent une histoire éternelle de la politique. Elles dépeignent une cité prospérant sous des lois justes et s’effondrant sous de mauvaises. Ce dernier volet de l’allégorie est aujourd’hui d’une actualité brûlante, alors que les émeutes en France peignent un tableau urbain désolé, reflétant un échec de l’action publique. La situation s’est tellement détérioré qu’un usage généralisé de la force est désormais inévitable, notamment pour saisir l’arsenal militaire qui prospère dans les banlieues. Pourtant, il est tout aussi essentiel de s’attaquer aux mauvaises politiques qui ont conduit à cette situation. Le déclin français a atteint un tel degré parce que tous les partis politiques se sont focalisés sur des réponses inefficaces et ont négligé les racines du problème.

June #2 – Migration reimagined: why states should step back in the face of tragedy
On 14 June, off the coast of Pylos, Greece, a tragedy occurred: a ship carrying 750 hopeful migrants met with disaster. The incident claimed at least 80 lives and leaves hundreds missing, thrusting the migration issue back into global spotlight. The incident has sparked a range of political responses across Greece and Europe. Some advocate for tighter immigration controls, while others propose a broader regulatory scheme at the European level. But they are overlooking a crucial fact: increased state control over immigration is not a cure-all solution.

June #1 – The latest EU migration agreement: a misguided continuation of a flawed approach
The recently announced migration agreement reached by EU Home Affairs ministers on 8 June 2023, touted by officials as a historic breakthrough in protracted negotiations, is not as transformative as it claims. Rather, it perpetuates the EU’s controversial stance on immigration, as manifested in the practice of pushbacks, the militarisation of external borders, and the undermining of asylum rights.

May – From crisis to opportunity: a new vision for the EU’s immigration policy
Recently, alarming incidents involving the Greek Navy and asylum seekers have underlined the European Union’s struggle to manage its borders sustainably. Videos reveal the Greek coastguard forcibly pushing back asylum seekers towards Turkey, while, in another incident, a group of asylum seekers were found dead on a Greek island after their boat capsized. These problems are indicative of a system at odds with the EU’s principles of fairness, dignity, and freedom.

April – The misunderstood German policy with Russia
Before the recent reversal in German foreign policy, commentaries had presented Germany over the last weeks and months as a dangerously cowardly country, delaying a united European front against Russia. They have put forward Germany’s extensive economic ties with Russia and reluctance to supply the Ukrainian side with weapons. As a matter of fact, however, Germany has been the major power supporting Ukraine’s realignment with the West and attempting to prevent Russia from invading the country from the beginning.

March – The illusions and perils of restrictive migration policies
The recent condemnations of the number of migrants pushed back at the EU’s external borders, the generalisation of migration control within the EU, and the new inflows following the outbreak of war in Ukraine interrogate the suitability of the current restrictive migration policies in Europe.

March – Post-Brexit UK has not ‘taken back’ control of immigration
Brexit happened, and a new EU-UK agreement entered into force at the beginning of 2021. But migration is mostly absent from the text. Does it mean that the UK has ‘taken back’ control of immigration, as the ‘Leave’ campaign had promised? A careful analysis shows this is not the case. On the contrary, the lack of cooperation with the EU on migration creates a dangerous situation to manage migration flows.

October – The Greek-Turkish crisis calls for negotiation
To justify French intervention in the Greek-Turkish crisis, President Emmanuel Macron resorted to Western rhetoric that has been well-established for decades. France would react to the wrongdoings of Mr Erdogan, which would live in the fantasies of the Ottoman past. Macron presented himself as the defender of the weak against an aggressive neighbour, to restore the rule of international law, and ensure stability. However, this is an inappropriate and risky rhetoric that France should replace by a political negotiation to find an acceptable solution that keeps Turkey as a reliable member of the Western alliance.

May – L’Union européenne reste le centre de gravité des stratégies économiques et politiques de sortie de crise
Crise économique de l’Allemagne, mobilité à l’intérieur de l’Union et difficultés des pays pauvres autour du continent, tels sont les trois véritables risques qui peuvent faire plonger l’Europe dans une crise existentielle.