Fortress Europe no more? Migration, border control and solidarity: a critical analysis of the EU discourse and policies in the wake of the Arab Spring – With a case study from Lampedusa

Research Paper by Tommaso Emiliani




In the wake of the revolutions of the “Arab Spring”, the European Union has been proposing a renewed approach to migration management, aimed at modifying its securityoriented focus so to take more into account partner countries’ interests and needs. This paper tries to assess the extent to which the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) adopted in 2011 has brought about a consistent shift in EU migration policies, as often claimed within the EU institutional discourse. The introduction discusses the relevance of issues such as the inter-institutional consistency/inconsistency of EU discourse on migration management and the notion of change/continuity in EU policy making. The first section accounts for the theoretical framework. Analytical concepts such as “securitisation” and “de-securitization” of EU policies and the understanding of the EU as a “normative power” are employed to understand the recent developments in the EU approach towards its Southern Neighbourhood. In the second section, a critical analysis of the EU post-Arab Spring migration policy is carried out, so as to assess the real extent of the shift from the traditional security-oriented approach to a more inclusive and comprehensive strategy. The third section deals with the case study.