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MSc colloquium by Jana Kerssies entitled ‘The relation between the Dutch and European discourse on migration'

Published on
August 27, 2020

On the extent to which the Dutch hegemonic discourse on migration challenges or supports the harmonization of European migration policy via the proposed migration policy reform of the European Union’

You are hereby cordially invited to the MSc thesis presentation by Jana Kerssies entitled ‘The relation between the Dutch and European discourse on migration. On the extent to which the Dutch hegemonic discourse on migration challenges or supports the harmonization of European migration policy via the proposed migration policy reform of the European Union’.

Supervisor: Agatha Siwale
Examinor: Katrien Termeer
Date: 27 August 2020
Time: 14.00 hours
Skype link: Join Skype Meeting  // +31317489100,,526372#  // Conference ID: 526372

Title: The relation between the Dutch and European discourse on migration

Sub-title: On the extent to which the Dutch hegemonic discourse on migration challenges or supports the harmonization of European migration policy via the proposed migration policy reform of the European Union

Abstract:

The migration crisis of Europe in 2015 exposed many deficiencies in the migration policy system of the European Union. The Member States of the European Union were unable to provide a harmonized response to the crisis at hand, as all prioritized their diverging national interests. In order to answer the many calls for policy reform, the European Commission released an Agenda on Migration that aimed at the construction of a common approach. However, the policy reform is yet to be completed. The recently appointed European Commission led by von der Leyen is, therefore, currently working on the development of a New Pact on Migration and Asylum that aspires to harmonize the European migration policy. Many studies have examined the factors that obstruct the harmonization of European migration policy, and most of them point towards the effects of national interests and politics on supranational negotiations. However, this strand of research directs limited attention to the role of discourse on the construction of a common and harmonized European response to migration. This study aimed to contribute to the literature on the factors that obstruct the harmonization of European migration policy by accounting for role that discourse plays in these processes.

To exemplify the role of discourse in the harmonization of European migration policy, the research uncovered the Dutch hegemonic discourse on migration and established the extent to which that discourse challenges or supports the harmonization of European migration policy via the proposed policy reform of the European Union. It firstly deduced from the literature four discourses on migration that compete in the domain of migration politics: the security, liberal, humanitarian and economic discourse on migration. By examining the discourses reproduced by Dutch media, publics, and policy actors, this study then found that the security discourse on migration has achieved hegemony in the Netherlands. The analysis of the discourses adopted by the European actors that are currently involved with the development of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum exposed the ongoing discursive struggle within the European Union. The study then compared the Dutch hegemonic discourse on migration with the discourses of these various European actors and revealed that the discursive relation between the Netherlands and the European Union would be most supportive if the discourse of the European Commission is reflected dominantly in the finalized proposal for migration policy reform. The discursive relation would be most challenging if the proposal reflects the discourse of Vice President Schinas in ‘Promoting Our European Way of Life’ to the greatest extent. These findings indicate that discourse is an important factor that either challenges or supports the harmonization of European migration policy via the proposed policy reform of the European Union, and policymakers should take this role of discourse into consideration for the development of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum.