A Free Ride on the Wave of Terror? The Securitisation of Migration in the EU and its Discursive Consequences
This essay analyses the concept of the securitisation of migration in the EU in light of the ongoing European migrant crisis and recent wave of terrorist attacks across Europe. Securitisation theory as an academic approach seeks to explain how states justify extreme actions in the name of security. Because securitisation is primarily a speech act, critical discourse analysis of online news coverage regarding the November 2015 Paris attacks and 2016 Brussels is conducted to investigate justifications of tighter security measures by the EU. Once the discursive themes uncovered are applied to securitisation theory, it is discovered that migrants are constructed as either political or societal existential threats depending on their migration status and how it relates to the referent object in question. Incoming economic migrants and refugees are potentially hazardous to the vitality of the Schengen agreement while established Muslim migrants negatively transform the identities held by European societies. Due to the intersectional nature of migration, security and European integration, it is difficult to fully assess the discursive impact of migration alone on European security. It is, however, possible to postulate that acts of securitisation by EU are in response to the shifting political and social landscapes of the EU and thus seek to preserve cherished European values.