Migration as a ‘European Problem’: The Discourse of ‘Europeanness’ in Migration Policy and News Articles in the European Union
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This research examines how the representation of migrants entering the European Union (EU) through the Mediterranean in European news articles reflects and relates to EU migration policy and the imaginary of a collective European identity. A critical discourse analysis of 18 European-based news articles from Euronews and Deutsche Welle between January and May 2023 was conducted. This analysis falsifies and problematizes the dominant discourses in these news articles and migration policies pertaining to Fortress Europe, crisis narratives, and what it means to be ‘European’ to highlight how discourse surrounding migration as a European problem purposefully racializes migrants and enables violence against them. The racialization of migrants highlights the role of biopolitics and examines how in the era of externalization and securitization of borders, the border has become more than physical and rather a practice reproduced through discourse. The framing of migration from a European perspective highlights the power of discourse to influence policy and public opinion, and showcases how the actions of the EU can trickle-down to exclusionary nation-state policy, highlighted by the example of Italian migration policy under its newly elected right-wing government. This framing and relationship produces a perpetual cycle of exclusion that is normalized and allows violence to continue unquestioned or be considered acceptable by the general public and within policy. The Europeanization of borders highlights a major juxtaposition between the image of the EU as a leading governmental body committed to democracy and protecting human rights and freedom, and their actions that enable violence against migrants.
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