Migrattion Threat to EU Security: Prejudices and Realities

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-2-61-70
N. Arbatova, arbatova@imemo.ru
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 01.12.2021.

Abstract. The article analyzes the complex interface between the phenomenon of migration and the security of the European Union and its member-states. The migration crisis in Europe, which began with the Arab Spring in 2015 and continues to this day, is truly one of the most important existential challenges for the EU. This crisis is overlapped with other fundamental problems facing the European Union, contributing to the securitization of migration and asylum issues. In the absence of an effective EU strategy in this direction, there remains the danger of radicalization of European societies and, therefore, a threat to the entire integrationist project. The process of globalization has supplemented some of the traditional functions of the state, first of all, such as protection of its territory and political independence, with new functions that are associated with the obligation to ensure economic independence, cultural identity and social stability. Securitization of migration usually has several dimensions: socio-economic problems (unemployment, the growth of the black economy, the crisis of the welfare state and the deterioration of the urban environment); the growth of securitarism in the EU member-states (when migrants are viewed as a threat to the national identity and demographic equilibrium of the host society); and political challenges as a result of the nexus between external and internal security caused by the terrorist threat. In addition to traditional challenges, there emerged a fairly new phenomenon – instrumentalization of the migration problem, namely the use of migrants by the third countries as a means of pressure on the EU member states in order to achieve certain political or economic goals. The new Pact on Migration and Asylum introduces a number of undeniably positive provisions for the European Union. Nevertheless, the document has been criticized by the EU individual countries, as well as by public and human rights organizations. This situation can be explained by the fact that in modern Europe, security interests and values are in a moral conflict with each other, which presents the main challenge to the future of the European project.

Keywords: European Union, illegal migration, demographic problems, migration crisis, European security, securitization of migration, demography, populism, radicalization of society, Pact on Migration and Asylum


  1. The 2015 Ageing Report: Underlying Assumptions and Projection Methodologies. European Commission. 27.01.2017. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/european_economy/2014/ee8_en.htm (accessed 10.10.2021).
  2. Ripsman N.M., Paul T.V. Globalization and the National Security State. New York, Oxford University Press, 2010. 296 p.
  3. Czaika M., de Haas H. The effectiveness of immigration policies. Population and Development Review, 2013, no. 39 (3), pp. 487-508.
  4. Ceyhan A., Tsoukala A. The Securitization of Migration in Western Societies: Ambivalent Discourses and Policies. Alternatives, February 1, 2002, special issue, pp. 21-39. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/03043754020270S103 (accessed 10.10.2021).
  5. Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015: Settling In. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, 2015. Available at: https://www.oecd.org/els/indicators-of-immigrant-integration-2015-settling-in-9789264234024-en.htm (accessed 10.10.2021).
  6. Overall figures of immigrants in European society. Statistics on migration to Europe, January 1, 2020. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/promoting-our-european-way-life/statistics-migration-europe_en#RefugeesinEurope (accessed 10.10.2021).
  7. Kancs A., Lecca P. Long-term Social, Economic and Fiscal Effects of Immigration into the EU: The Role of the Integration Policy. JRC Technical Reports, European Commission 2017. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/futurium/sites/futurium/files/jrc107441_wp_kancs_and_lecca_2017_4.pdf (accessed 10.10.2021).
  8. EU Parliament Adopts Over €16 Billion Funds for Asylum & Border Policies. Schengenvisainfo News, July 8, 2021. Available at: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/eu-parliament-adopts-over-e16-billion-funds-for-asylum-border-policies/ (accessed 11.10.2021).
  9. Explaining the Main Drivers of Anti-Immigration Attitudes in Europe. Eyes on Europe, Novembre 30, 2020. Available at: https://www.eyes-on-europe.eu/explaining-the-main-drivers-of-anti-immigration-attitudes-in-europe/ (accessed 11.10.2021).
  10. Smantser V., Pervysheva E. “These people are alien and dangerous.” Germany has hosted millions of migrants and refugees. How do they change the country and the Germans? Letnta.ru, 07.07.2021. (In Russ.) Available at: https://lenta.ru/articles/2021/08/01/migrants_germany/ (accessed 18.11.2021).
  11. Schlueter E., Scheepers P. The relationship between outgroup size and anti-outgroup attitudes: A theoretical synthesis and empirical test of group threat-and intergroup contact theory. Social Science Research, 2010, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 285-295. DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2009.07.006
  12. West and Islam have not found a common language. Russia Today, 20.10.2010. (In Russ.) Available at: http://inosmi.ru/video/20101020/163720651.html (accessed 03.11.2016).
  13. Bobba G., Hubé N. Populism and Covid19 in Europe: What we learned from the first wave of the pandemic. April 20, 2021. Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2021/04/20/populism-and-covid-19-in-europe-what-we-learned-from-the-first-wave-of-the-pandemic/ (accessed 08.10.2021).
  14. Feore C. “Instrumentalization of migrants for political purposes by Belarus is unacceptable” von der Leyen. Eureporter, November 9, 2021. Available at: https://www.eureporter.co/world/belarus/2021/11/09/instrumentalization-of-migrants-for-political-purposes-by-belarus-is-unacceptable-von-der-leyen/ (accessed 14.11.2021).
  15. Bensman T. Terrorist Migration Across Europe’s Borders (2014–2018). Center for Immigration Studies. November 6, 2019. Available at: https://cis.org/Report/Terrorist-Migration-Over-European-Borders (accessed 14.11.2021).
  16. Ortega F., Peri G. The Causes and Effects of International Migrations: Evidence from OECD Countries 1980–2005. NBER Working Papers 14833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA. 2009. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/45138797_The_Causes_and_Effects_of_International_Migrations_Evidence_from_OECD_Countries_1980-2005 (accessed 14.11.2021).
  17. France; Germany; Belgium and Spain call for the creation of a European Judicial Counter-Terrorism Register. Eurojust, Press Release, The Hague, June 21, 2018. Available at: https://www.eurojust.europa.eu/france-germany-belgium-and-spain-call-creation-european-judicial-counter-terrorism-register (accessed 10.11.2021).
  18. National Strategy for Counterterrorism of the United States of America. The White House. October 2018. Available at: https://www.dni.gov/files/NCTC/documents/news_documents/NSCT.pdf (accessed 14.11.2021).
  19. Shesternina E. Research: 753 people have become victims of terror in the EU since 2000. RIA News, 23.03.2019. (In Russ.) Available at: https://ria.ru/20190323/1552047702.html  (accessed10.10.2021).
  20. A majority of Europe’s voters do not consider migration to be the most important issue, according to major new poll. Blog Commentary, European Council on Foreign Relations. April 1, 2019. Available at: https://ecfr.eu/article/european_voters_do_not_consider_migration_most_important_election/ (accessed 16.10.2021).
  21. Pascouau Y. Europe and Asylum: From a Protection Area to a Protected Area. 24.08.2021. Available at: https://institutdelors.eu/en/publications/leurope-et-lasile-dun-espace-de-protection-a-un-espace-protege/ (accessed 18.11.2021).
  22. Potmkina O. European Agenda on Migration – A New Turn in the EU Immigration Policy? Contemporary Europe, 2015, no. 4 (64), pp. 28-40. (In Russ.) Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.15211/soveurope420152840 
  23. The Pact on Migration and Asylum is the basis for updating the migration policy. EU Delegation to RF. 25.09.2020. (In Russ.) Available at: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/russia/85792/node/85792_ru (accessed 18.10.2021).
  24. Vignon J. New pact on migration: a balanced proposal to be further enhanced. 28.09.2020. Jacque Delors Institute. Available at: https://institutdelors.eu/en/publications/la-commission-peut-elle-reprendre-la-main-sur-le-dossier-migratoire-2/ (accessed 18.11.2021).
  25. The new pact on immigration issues has caused serious divisions in the EU. TASS, 29.09.2020. (In Russ.) Available at: https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/9578073 (accessed 18.11.2021).
  26. Communication, A renewed EU action plan against migrant smuggling (2021–2025) COM(2021) 591 final. European Commission, Brussels, 29.09.2021. Available at: http://www.europeanmigrationlaw.eu/documents/COM(2021)591-RenewedActionPlan-MigrantSmuggling.pdf (accessed 18.11.2021).
  27. EU suspends visas for Belarusian officials amid migrants row. Euronews, 29.09.2021. Available at: https://www.euronews.com/2021/09/29/eu-suspends-visas-for-belarusian-officials-amid-migrants-row (accessed 18.11.2021).

Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Arbatova N. Migrattion Threat to EU Security: Prejudices and Realities. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 61-70. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-2-61-70

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment






Dear authors! Please note that in the VAK List of peer-reviewed scientific journals, in which the main scientific results of dissertations for the degree of candidate and doctor of sciences should be published for the “MEMO Journal” the following specialties are recorded:
economic sciences:
5.2.5. World Economy.
5.2.1. Economic Theory
5.2.3. Regional and Branch Economics
political sciences:
5.5.4. International Relations
5.5.1. History and Theory of Politics
5.5.2. Political Institutions, Processes, Technologies


Current Issue
2024, vol. 68, No. 2

Topical Themes of the Issue:

  • Fiscal Policy of Advanced Economies: Playing by the Rules?  
  • Iranian Development Model: State and Society Concept, Crises and Problems
  • Afghan-Pakistan Relations: Problems and Challenges in XXI Century
  • Climate Issues under Changing Geopolitical Conditions
Submit an Article
The Editorial Board invites authors to write analytical articles on the following topics:
  • changes in the processes of globalization in modern conditions
  • formation of the new world order
  • shifts in civilization at the stage of transition to a digital society

The editors are also interested in publishing synthesis articles / scientific reviews revealing the main trends in the development of certain regions of the world - Latin America, Africa, South Asia, etc.