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Essay Example on How Immigration Impacts EU's Internal and External Policies

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897 words
Wesleyan University
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The European Union is an economic and political partnership that indicates cooperation among sovereign nations. The union was formed on a series of binding treaties after the Second World War with the aim of fostering peace and economic recovery. However, in the recent past, European Union states have encompassed on international migration as the main agenda of matters regarding security. The recognition of immigration as security warning has advanced alongside the increasing number of immigrants globally. The number of immigrants living outside home countries has increased from 191 million to approximately 214 million (Stoffman, 2008).

Security is the state of being free from any dangers or threatening situations. Traditionally, the state is the point of reference in need of protection from threatening forces; therefore, security has primarily focused on military concerns. Security studies have however expanded the definition of security to reflect a few more issues apart from just the centric approach. The broader definition of a security includes any environmental, economic, societal and political issues that seem to threaten security. Any risks or threats towards humanity, individual self, or cultural identity are collectively security issues. This paper will investigate how immigration impacts the EU' internal and external security policies. The interdependence between cross-border migration and international security provide an exceptional angle to analyze the implementation of security and integration policies (Archick, 2017).

The EU integration project is an important tool for the member states to retain sustainability in economic growth and welfare of the nations. However, inherent differences in originality and histories of the different member states, policy preferences are influenced by making the adoption and implementation of these policies futile.

Strengthening the internal and external security calls for cooperation among the member states of the union. The inflow of migrants and refugees into European nations while fleeing from post-cold-war effects creates leakages for perpetrators of terror activities and other security threatening conditions. More so, unrestricted movement of foreigners is dangerous to the host country as the migrants tend to take advantage of this opportunity to pursue their selfish interests. Such may include terrorism and drug smuggling across borders. EUs framework on migration emphasizes on the need for partnership among countries to sustain transit respectfully. The massive inflow of migrants is believed to threaten the strength and stability of the union. Migratory pressures have strained the Schengen system as it wholly relies on the confidence of cross-border security (Archick, 2017).

Securitization as migration policy and the imposition of restrictive migration policies on migrants denies asylum seekers access to safe countries thereby landing them in the hands of criminal migrants. Therefore, there exists a relationship between the nature of internal and external security challenges with the securitization of illegal migration. Irregular migration can be viewed as an act that tends to compromise state sovereignty. The mushrooming human trafficking industries also threaten security in the host country; especially when they are involved in the smuggling of dangerous weapons and illicit drugs. Migration can also be an avenue for importing criminals and spreading dreadful diseases (Huysmans and Buonfino, 2008).

EU has continuously wrestled with how well to solve the changes in the security environment. This is attributable to the increased influx of migrants into Europe following ongoing conflicts in Asia. Migration into Europe has been linked to the increased terrorism and the tendency of terror groups to recruit the natives into the same (Saux, 2007). The Eurozone debt crisis has further affected economies and growth of the union which in turn creates economic disparities that have led to policy divisions among member states hence implementing policies unattainable.

Inability to segregate genuine asylum seekers and refugees from terrorists tends to jeopardize the rights and freedoms of refugees and moreover frustrates the intentions of EU to provide security and protection to refugees. Lack of a sound internal approach to migration has downscaled the terms of fair partnership and assuring comprehensive protection systems for the refugees and asylums. The success of implementing security policies depends on collaborative leadership with the ability to integrate the state members of the union. Today migration is the top agenda of security issues in Europe (Wang, 2012).

Migration has become the referent point regarding the security of a country. Collating migration with development policies has proved difficult due to the existing multilateral relations that yield different actors with different priorities. Also, the rigidity of some states has sidelined the inclusion of other important migration management stakeholders hence making the achievement of a common goal unattainable. Lack of a robust strategic vision and strong leadership in the migration management sector has further strained the success of external and internal security policies.



Adamson, F. (2006). Crossing Borders: International Migration and National Security. International Security, 31(1), 165-199.

David Sanger, "With Brexit, Washington's Direct Line to the Continent Suddenly Frays," New York Times, June 26, 2016; Benjamin Oreskes "Germany: America's Real Special Relationship," Politico Europe, June 30, 2016.

Huysmans, J., & Buonfino, A. (2008). Politics of Exception and Unease: Immigration, Asylum, and Terrorism in Parliamentary Debates in the U.K.

Saux, M. (2007). Immigration and Terrorism. European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research, 13(2), 57-72.

Spencer, A. (2008). Linking Immigrants and Terrorist; The Use of Immigration as an Anti-Terror Policy. The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution, 8(1), 1-24.

Stoffman, D. (2008). "Truths and Myths About Immigration." Canada: Moens A. And M. Collacott.

Wang, X. (2012). Undocumented Immigrants as Perceived Criminal Threat: A Test of Minority Threat Perspective. Criminology, 50(3), 743-776.

Westbrook, R. (2010). Immigration and Crime in Catalonia, Spain.


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