Foreign Terrorist Fighters as a Factor of Securitization of the EU Migration Policy

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-11-106-114
Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Science (IE RAS), 11-3, Mokhovaya Str., Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation.

Received 26.04.2021.

Abstract. The article analyzes the impact of the Foreign Terrorist Fighters’ (FTF) phenomenon on the securitization of the European Union’s migration policy. The author follows the construction of the FTF as a serious security threat to the European Union’s strategies and action plans, and demonstrates the EU’s practical actions to respond the threat: criminalization of “suspicious travel”, strengthening border security, preliminary screening of asylum seekers at the border. The article pays special attention to the EU plans to achieve compatibility of the European Union information systems, while emphasizing new opportunities for the law enforcement bodies to access migration databases for combating terrorism. Exploring the new EU integration plan for migrants, the author notes that this is for the first time that the European Commission focuses its efforts not only on migrants, but also on the EU citizens with “migratory background”, which is undoubtedly dictated by a fear of the extremist ideology influence on young people. The article exposes certain similarities between the Commission’s methods to coordinate integration and inclusion of migrants, reintegration of the FTF and their families, which indicates that the migration policy is becoming a part of the EU security policy. That leads to a conclusion that securitization of migration policy aims not only and not so much at preventing the potential threat of the returnees’ terrorist activities, but at curbing migration flows as a whole and reducing the number of asylum seekers, in particular. Nevertheless, terrorism and migration seem to be closely linked in public discourse, despite the absence of an empirical basis to conclude that these factors directly influence each other. The author considers the most difficult problem of modern migration policy to be the definition of the red line beyond which its securitization can be justified.

Keywords: foreign terrorist fighters, securitization, migration policy, information systems, integration, border security


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For citation:
Potyomkina O. Foreign Terrorist Fighters as a Factor of Securitization of the EU Migration Policy. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 11, pp. 106-114.

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