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The Migration-Security Nexus in Short: Instruments and Actions in the European Union


Gemma Pinyol-Jiménez

Spanish Secretary of Immigration and Emigration; CIDOB Barcelona, ES
About Gemma
Head of cabinet since December 2011. Previously, head of the Migrations Programme. BA in Political Sciences and MA in International Relations.
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In early 2011, the so-called ‘Arab spring’ marked a new period of change, expectations and challenges in several North African countries. Despite the democratic processes started in those countries, Arab riots were mainly seen as another push factor for irregular migration to the European Union by important sectors of European media and public opinion. Furthermore, the crisis management of Tunisian migrants arriving in Italy had stressed the European system of free movement of people in the Schengen area in an unthinkable way only a few weeks before. The aim of this article 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 article 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 measures to tackle security regarding migration issues, and how the national and regional dimension of security has been complemented by a further developed international dimension, which includes different and more 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 and some of the more recent steps increasingly demonstrate that managing migration should also incorporate a plural conception of security. Finally, the last section analyses to what extent security instruments have -paradoxically- become useless instruments for managing immigration and for granting security at the European borders.

How to Cite: Pinyol-Jiménez, G., 2012. The Migration-Security Nexus in Short: Instruments and Actions in the European Union. Amsterdam Law Forum, 4(1), pp.36–57. DOI:
Published on 01 Dec 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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