Christiane Fröhlich / Lea Müller-Funk

Perceiving Migration Crises: A View From the European Neighbourhood

MAGYC Working Paper | 2020

  • Abstract

    European discourses on migration have been dominated by a crisis narrative in recent years. In particular, so-called ‘mixed’ migration has led to the perception that the immigration of large numbers of non-EU citizens needs to be perceived as ‘critical’. Yet, knowledge on perceptions of these crises in the Global South itself is comparatively scarce, revealing stark Eurocentrism as the vast majority of migrants and refugees never reach the Global North. How do non-EU states perceive European ‘migration crises’? Taking two major migration deals as case studies – the EU-Turkey Deal 2016 and the EU-Migration Deal 2018 –, we analyse how these events were perceived in countries of first asylum which neighbour conflict countries such as Libya and Syria. This policy report offers an analysis of Tunisian and Turkish print media to uncover élite discourses about migration. It demonstrates that European crisis perceptions differ considerably from those in other world regions. Non-EU states are acutely aware of European perceptions of crisis and their role in negotiations about cooperation in the field of migration governance. At the same time, as regimes strategically choose to silence the issue of migration, many refugees in the European neighbourhood live in a context characterised by massive protection gaps.

    Research Programmes


    MAGYC Working Paper

    Number of Pages



    Horizon2020 project Migration Governance and Asylum Crises (MAGYC)


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