Our aim in this research area is to analyze European Union migration policy and the values it draws from, with a specific focus on how these values interrelate with the political divisions that have emerged within and between member states. Decisions on migration and integration policies are taken in the context of a growing wave of populism, on the one hand, and an emerging self-understanding of some European states as immigration countries, on the other. Bringing findings from different research areas together, we will provide a better understanding of the interdependencies between EU and domestic politics.
Our research has three specific objectives:
1. Understanding the norms and values underlying EU migration policy, primarily with regard to policy decisions taken in response to the refugee crisis in the Justice and Home Affairs Council as well as the European Council. Our working assumption is that EU Charter and Community acquis norms and values are relevant for policy decisions. If this is true, which other norms and values are the decisions in both Councils informed by?
2. Critically examining the impact of populist movements, parties and governments on EU and member state migration and integration policies, as well as the reverse effects EU migration policies have had on the dynamics of populism. We will conduct a comprehensive review of the discourse on migration issues in leading print media and produce secondary interpretations of existing public survey data, allowing us to re-review the existing philosophical literature on populism in light of current events. We are specifically interested in analyzing to what extent migration issues have been driving factors of populism.
3. Relating EU migration policies to immigration discourses in selected member states. While EU migration policies have primarily dealt with immigration as a security issue, some member states have come to see themselves as immigration societies, acknowledging their dependence on regular immigration to maintain their economic performance levels and their welfare state systems. How do post-national attitudes like this inform the EU policies in question, and how, if at all, are they in turn affected by EU level discussions? How are cosmopolitan discourses framed in specific member states – do they center on rights or on humanitarian duties?