EU Migration Policies in Crisis: The role of traditional and social media in shaping the European policy attention and actions


CALL: 2019

DOMAIN: ID - Humanities and Social Sciences





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Migration, media, EU parliamentary debates, protection

START: 2020-01-01

END: 2023-12-31


Submitted Abstract

The scope of this research is to analyse whether traditional and social media narratives have had an impact on policy initiatives relating to safe migration and protection of migrants within the EU. The research will address this impact, by going beyond traditional agenda setting theories, to understand the media’s influence on the substantial political agenda and the decisions made by policymakers relating to EU directives on migration. This will be done through a comparative and longitudinal study between 2008 and 2018. The collected media discourse will be analysed in order to define framing clusters and temporal shifts in narratives, providing the basis for a content analysis of EU Parliamentary debate minutes, measuring the presence of media in migration-related paragraphs. The findings will be part of a comprehensive mapping exercise, to draw lineaments between media and policy developments, allowing for an estimation of the impact of media on the protection of migrants within the EU in the defined timeframe. In 2014, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) dubbed Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migrants, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing. Four years have passed since IOM made this statement, however it rings more true than ever. In 2018, six people died on average per day, while attempting to cross from the North African coast to Europe (UNHCR, 2019). The unprecedented population movement towards Europe in this period has highlighted systemic deficiencies in the EU asylum system and as the number of migrants increased, so did the media’s attention. We live in an interconnected and globalised world where migration is expected to only increase. It is therefore important to understand the inter-connections influencing the EU’s ability to promote safe migration, provide protection and to prepare for similar challenges in the future.

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