Paris has witnessed the worst terror attacks Europe has ever seen after the culmination of Second World War. This was 2nd terror attack on France in a matter of an year, the first one being on the office of Charlie Hebdo, the publication house known for religious satires. This attack on the French capital will have a far reaching impact on Europe’s future.
Following the attacks, France has shut down its open borders and has declared a state of emergency for a period of 3 months. Identities of assailants have revealed them to be Belgian nationals. It remains to be seen if France would be willing to provide free access to European nationals, as was the case earlier. The first and the foremost impact would be on the future of European Union, the Eurozone and the Schengen system of open borders. Shutting down of French borders would affect the continental free trade system of Europe, affecting the already beleaguered European economy.
France has been an open society known for its ideals of Liberty, equality and fraternity. These ideals have been adopted by nations all over the world, deriving inspirations from the French society. However, these terror attacks have a potential to strain the social fabric of France, the one which has been dexterously knit over many decades.
The terror attacks would have far reaching impacts on Syrian refugees, who saw western nations as a land where they would expect a peaceful and fulfilling life. The refugees would now have to toil even harder to find refuge in these countries, which would plug their last hopes of a healthy life. The adverse impact may be the ISIS would be able project western nations in bad light due to their attitude replete with hubris towards refugees, which would have the potentiality of increasing IS’own recruits. This unwelcoming policy may have a long term backlash, in terms of strengthening of IS.
France has nearly 10% of its population as Muslims. The French society, which has long celebrated ideals of fraternity is definitely under threat after the Paris Attacks. Islamophobia is bound to gain ground, though the French people have stood calm and strong. Far right political groups are bound to raise such issues, it remains to be seen if such elements are accepted or rejected by the people.
Lastly, France has declared Paris Attacks as an act of war on France. This hardening of stance may pull France into a deep protracted war with the Islamic State. This could turn out to be another Afghanistan like situation leading to an unending war and further deteriorating the ground situations. In all potentiality, it would eat into France’s resources, already hit by the unending Eurozone financial crisis.
Hence, the Paris attacks might further complicate the already complex geopolitical situations. It would be an uphill task for the leaders of civilized world to seek a universally acceptable solution, taking along all the stakeholders. Whatever has been learnt from the past, should be applied so as to make the world a better place.