Responses to the arrival of a large number of refugees as a 'state of exception' and the sovereignty of interdependent states

The paper observes the events of 2015 – 2017 when large numbers of refugees traveled through the countries in SE Europe. It focuses on the reactions of the states along the ‘Balkan route’ to the large numbers of arrivals: the creation of a ‘humanitarian corridor’, a mode of transportation through the territory of a country with disregard for national legislation and international human rights law. Connected are the legislative changes in Slovenia, creating the possibility of temporary suspension of refugee law, and the suspension of the Schengen regime on the EU internal borders. The paper looks at these factual-juridical phenomena as states of exception (Agamben). Drawing on Carl Schmitt, the paper inquires whether these case studies of state of exception can reveal to us who the sovereign is. Importantly, in responding to an exceptional situation, the states cannot ignore the actions of the neighbouring states with which they find themselves in a “Europe of interdependent states”.