H:Emre Ertem-G.Bilgin-“Securitizing the Immigrants as a Way to Build a European Identity”


3rd ECPR Graduate Conference 30 August-1 September 2010, Ireland, 1 - 04 September 2010, pp.1-13

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Country: Ireland
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-13
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes




Securitizing the Immigrants as a Way to Build a European Identity

 European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Graduate Conference 2010, Dublin 



In the post-cold-war years, migration has become a „high-security? issue and it has been securitized especially by the opening up the internal borders within the EU member states. The non-EU immigration has been regarded as a „threat? to the existence of „European values?. The „Europeanness? myth, which was derived from „above?, has a strong ideological character and plays the similar role of the cold war discourse. The European idea „has been more connected to the state tradition and elite cultures than with the politics of civil society?. This structure has created „democratic deficit? in the EU, and it takes the legitimacy of the EU into the question. 

This paper aims to analyse how the European politicians use the „European identity? to overcome this legitimacy crisis of the EU. In doing this it will give a prior brief analysis of the ?European identity?, its evolution in the EU process and the origins of the crisis in the EU. Then it will be analysed how the non-EU immigrants are securitized to construct a European identity and the effects of this generally nation-state centred policy, which had turned into a „euro-racism? by generally Schengen politics which borders nationalism more than a “multi cultural”-federative features of EU that shows a real dilemma not only theoretical but in daily life politics. 

The argument of this paper is that the European identity, „us?, has been constructed by securitizing of the non-EU immigrants, „the others?, and the securitizing the non-EU immigrants has been justified after 9/11 through “War on Terror”; however the terrorist activities in Europe are significantly lesser than the terrorist attacks in the 1970s. Socio-political dilemma of EU has constructed itself on migration policies as a critical challenge to EU identity also creating much more conflict in it federative definition. 

Identity issue of EU created a similar type of challenge when constructing an identity to immigrants in EU and their citizenship rights. Therefore, legitimization of European identity become more complex and unrealisticable with the failure of integration policies which securitizing immigrants into terrorist figure but also terrorising immigrants lives in a European country by masticating the basic human rights.