EXTERNALIZING MIGRATION MANAGEMENT - The European Union’s Externalization of Migration Management to Niger and Its Challenges for Accountability

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: In response to increased irregular migration to EU territory in 2015, the EU has introduced arange of different policies. Through cooperation with third countries, the EU has managed toexternalize migration management to foreign territory, leaving implementation of projects toother actors than the EU itself, raising questions of accountability. This thesis aims to explorehow the policy formulation of the EU about externalization of migration management and itsreporting reveal how accountability is understood after 2015. Because the EU, represented bythe Commission in this thesis, has the power to shape its under own understandings in its policyformulation, a thematic qualitative analysis serves to explore how language is used in thepolicies and what it reveals about the Commission’s understanding of accountability. Using thetheoretical framework of critical humanitarianism, this enables to shed light on how theCommission presents itself as an actor that is caring for migrants on the one hand but at thesame time controlling human mobility through migration management in third countries on theother. This thesis demonstrates that the Commission’s understanding of accountability mostlyrelates to issues of transparency and information and control mechanisms of unelected EUinstitutions. More importantly, the analysis illustrates that the importance of the Parliament isleft aside, strategically circumventing the involvement of a democratically elected forum.Similarly, marginal references to legal aspects indicate challenges to hold the Commission onthe European level accountable.

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