• Ida Haubart Lund-Larsen
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
In this project I investigate the relationship between the private security industry and the European Commission to reveal how the influence of commercial actors have taken part in shaping the Migration & Border Management and Security & Defence budgets within the next multi- annual financial framework (MFF) spanning the next seven years from 2021 to 2027, and currently being negotiated between the EU institutions. I have used this long-term budget as a case of analysis to show how immigration is administratively treated as a security issue within the EU Commission. By applying the theoretical lens of the Paris School of security, as presented by the scholars Didier Bigo and Jef Huysmans, I argue that the EU Commission as well as the private security industry frame immigration as an existential threat through discursive and institutional practices and therefore neglect a refugee perspective, which impairs a humanitarian response. Critically questioning the securitization perspective, I further argue that the securitization of immigration is not a process where the end goal is to exclude and criminalize immigrants and militarize borders alone, it is more so part of a broader economic scheme to create and sustain a lucrative and competitive single market within the European Union, which further investment in the private security industry can provide. The project is inspired and motivated by having spent five months in Brussels interning in the European Parliament, where I was both an observer and participant of lobbyism: an ever-present practice, which happens both publicly and behind the scenes. To frame my ethnographic findings, concepts from Irving Goffman’s performance theory is used. This inside experience has given me access and insight to how the lines between public institutions and private interests are blurred and ultimately how policy is in influenced within the EU. I will use these observations in parallel with an investigation of how the private security companies lobby and form relationships with policy makers, in order to maintain their influential positions. This I argue is the result of a process of neoliberalization and market logic, which allows private actors to both be advisors and merchants to the EU.
Publication date15 Oct 2020
Number of pages68
ID: 381848017