RUDN journal of Sociology (2019-12-01)

The migrant crisis in the Mediterranean: A multidimensional challenge for the European Union

  • C Anguita Olmedo,
  • P González Gómez del Miño

DOI
https://doi.org/10.22363/2313-2272-2019-19-4-617-629
Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 4
pp. 617 – 629

Abstract

Read online

The European Union (EU) throughout its history has been the destination of diverse migratory flows. Therefore, migration has acquired special relevance by occupying a prominent position on the EU’s political, economic, cultural, and social agenda. The most recent migration crisis of 2015 represents a multidimensional challenge with severe consequences that affect, first, the institutional foundations of the EU (governance, security, solidarity of member states and institutional stability) and, second, the migratory policies of receiving states and the EU itself. This crisis is characterized, first, by the high number of illegal migrants that cross the Mediterranean, and, second, by the humanitarian tragedy and insecurity, which make the sea a grey area and an international reference in the migratory processes. The migration-security equation became a field of applied research and analysis, and at the same time a focus of political debate and public opinion. The article aims at analysing the crisis of 2015 and its consequences, which is done by means of the methodological approach based on the consequences that this phenomenon entails for the EU and for certain member states. The response of the EU is limited primarily to securitization by strengthening the external borders, turning towards internal security rather than respecting international and Community Treaties and promotion of their values, which contradicts the anticipated leadership of this global actor. The authors believe that it is necessary to implement new mechanisms in addition to ensuring greater effectiveness of the existing ones.

Keywords