Immigration and its Effect on the Security Discourse in Europe: Time for Demystification
Monica den Boer
Police Academy; VU University Amsterdam, NL
This article is an adapted version of the plenary lecture presented to the Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies, Bern, 1 September 2006. Monica den Boer is Academic Dean and Professor of Comparative Public Administration, in particular the Internationalization of the Police Function.
Migration in Europe has increasingly been framed as a security issue, partly ignited by a populist discourse in several European countries, partly driven by a law enforcement aspiration to gain control over the free movement of persons. This article seeks to address and analyse the interaction between local, national and international concerns about immigration, and the way in which the EU has sought to create a regulatory balance between the creation of a common asylum and immigration policy and the repression of illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings. This balance has been an uneasy one which has hitherto hung towards exclusion rather than inclusion. In order to push the balance into the direction of inclusion, the immigration discourse needs to be demystified and disentangled, which supplies key-policy makers with reliable arguments for the consolidation of integration and ownership strategies.