Immigration has been a major policy challenge for countries especially in the recent years, where its politics are divided into two categories, (i) the internal dimension, where issues of free movement are at hand and (ii) the external dimension where issues of asylum seekers, labour migration and irregular migrants are the focal point. Both categories have emerged as a policy concern primarily for the EU as a whole rather than the member states individually.
The EU immigration policy can be placed between the ideologies of neoliberals and neo nationalists. “On the one hand, the economic right demands a "flexible" labor supply for economic growth and quite readily turns to the global labor pool for it. While, on the other, the nationalist right demands that the state resume its role as a protector of the national interest: of its workforce, its collective identity, and its sovereignty” (Feldman, 2012). Both ideologies fail to acknowledge the migrants as human beings, resulting in their objectification for what they have to offer rather for who they are. This objectification of the migrants is further enhanced through the concept of circular migration that is arising as a prominent matter in the EU’s policy as we speak. Circular migration enables neo liberalists by allowing entrance of labour migrants while it affirms neo nationalists since it doesn’t not provide full entrance rights to these immigrants resulting in the protection of national interests.
It is also evident that a lot of restrictions exist in order to prohibit irregular migration and asylum policy matters but on the other hand integration of migrants is important as well in the EU agenda. This creates tension and contradictions that are exemplified through the internal vs. external migration types and the neoliberal economy policy vs. migration and security issues. As Hansen and Hager (2012) conclude “Brussels, in a practical sense, believes itself capable of generating a productive dynamic between the security-oriented migration policy and Hague's intensified "fight against illegal migration," on the one side, and the [sic] neoliberally oriented Lisbon Strategy's "fight for growth and jobs," on the other side”. We should all question our self’s thought, regarding the viability of such a ‘diverse’ goal.
- Feldman, Gregory (2012) The Migration Apparatus: Security Labor, and Policymaking in the European Union, Stanford: Stanford University Press. p. 9
- Hansen, Peo and Sandy Brian Hager (2012) The Politics of European Citizenship: Deepening Contradictions in Social Rights and Migration Policy, New York: Berghahn Books p. 195