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European migration policy in the aftermath of September 11: the security-migration nexus

Karyotis, G. (2007) European migration policy in the aftermath of September 11: the security-migration nexus. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 20 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1351-1610

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Abstract

Many studies have explored the security logic of EU policies on migration and asylum, which served as the legitimizing factor for adopting restrictive measures and for cutting back the rights of third-country nationals. The involvement of the European Commission in this policy area after the Treaty of Amsterdam came into force signalled a move towards more liberal immigration policies, which recognized the positive contributions made by labor immigrants. However, the terrorist attacks of September 11 brought the liberalization of European migration policy to a halt. In the context of these developments, this paper aims to readdress the security-migration nexus, utilizing but also extending the concept of 'securitization', developed by the 'Copenhagen School of Security Studies'. By analyzing institutional developments in the area of internal security in the EU, it demonstrates that the events of September 11 did not initiate the insecurities, uncertainties, ambiguities and complexities in regards to migration policy; rather they accelerated dynamics that were already deeply rooted in the emerging European internal security regime. The paper concludes that the discourse that links migration to security is a construction that is both exaggerated and problematic, yet it has been further reinforced in the post-September 11 context.