The Migration-Security Nexus in short: Instruments and actions in the European Union

Gemma Pinyol-Jiménez


In early 2011, the so-called 'Arab spring' opened a new period of change, expectations and challenges in several North African countries. Despite of the democratic processes started in that countries, to important sectors of European media and public opinion, it seemed that Arab riots had mainly become another push factor for irregular migration to the European Union. Furthermore, the crisis management of Tunisian migrants arriving to Italy, stressed the European system of free movement of people in the Schengen area in an unthinkable way just few weeks before.


The aim of this paper is not to analize the consequences of these events, neither in the Arab world nor in the Schengen performance. The main objective is to analize the establishment of this migration-security nexus at the European level, and to examine how the EU deals with the security issue in relation with migration.


The first section of this paper reviews the construction of the security-migration nexus in the European scenario, starting from the consequences of the 9/11 events. The second part analyses the EU instruments and actions to tackle security regarding migration issues, and how the national/regional dimension of security has been complemented by a further developed international dimension, which includes different and enriched instruments than the traditional control-based ones. The European Union is moving towards the construction of a common legislative framework to deal with migration issues, and some of the more recent steps increasingly demonstrate that managing migration should also incorporated a plural conception of security. Finally, the last section also analyses to what extent security instruments have −paradoxically− become useless instruments for managing immigration and for granting security at the European borders.



migration; security; EU; democracy; borders

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Copyright (c) 2012 Gemma Pinyol-Jiménez

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