European Solidarity?

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Lone Sørensen
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
The legislation for the second phase of the European Union’s Common European Asylum System (CEAS) was finished in March 2013. Even though the asylum situation in Greece illustrated the unequal burden sharing and even though critique had been raised concerning the Dublin Regulation, the issue of joint responsibility and equal distribution of asylum seekers in the EU was not revised in the second phase of the CEAS. The research project is thus concerned with investigating:

Why has the asylum situation in Greece not encouraged the European Member States to take a greater joint responsibility for asylum seekers in the European Union?

To investigate this research question, the research project is conducting a case study of the Danish media’s articulation of the asylum situation in Greece. The methodology of Norman Fairclough on critical discourse analysis is in combination with framing theory applied to disclose the dominating discourse on the subject. The research project found that three discourses are dominating the media articulation. These discourses are: A Sympathy discourse, a discourse on Border Control and a Solidarity discourse.

Entailing the theory of Jef Huysmans to analyse the arisen discourses illustrates how the discourses are all embedded in three principles. The discourses surrounding the articulation on the asylum situation in Greece are thus: Neglecting the asylum motive, having an internal focus and regarding asylum to be solely a burden. Further analysing the objectives of the CEAS shows that these principles are also to a great extend entailed in the political objectives.

The principles seem to be naturalised and are dominating both the media debate and the policy. Therefore, the debate on asylum in Europe and the question of a joint responsibility for asylum seekers in the EU is turned into a question concerning the security of the Danish society rather than being a question of Human Rights and international protection. The debate distances itself from the asylum seekers in question and their motives for fleeing. The principles surrounding the discourses are thus downgrading the need for a joint responsibility and are furthermore illustrating a securitization of asylum. The situation in Greece has not led the EU Member States to take greater joint responsibility for asylum seekers, because the issues is embedded in the process of securitization, which reduces the need for responsibility measures in favour of security.

Publication date25 Jun 2013
Number of pages68
ID: 77921229