The dissertation “Political Aspects of the Formation and Development of the European Union Migration Policy”


The dissertation is devoted to a profound and integral study of the political aspects of the formation and development of the European Union migration policy in the context of the international environment transformation under the influence of integration and migration challenges. The process of making and implementing migration policy within the EU and immigration of third-country nationals to Europe is a relatively new subject of research. However, it has essential importance for a holistic understanding of the issues related to the needs for managing population movements in the context of ensuring a harmonious and consistent dynamics of social processes in European states. The topical nature of the problem is compounded by the European migration crisis of 2015, which experts identify as a humanitarian catastrophe caused by the mass influx of migrants from Africa and the Middle East. This is the largest migration crisis on the European continent since the Second World War.

First and foremost, in view of the need to understand the EU Member States polymorphic experience in shaping their own immigration strategies and finding common ways for a common migration policy at the EU level, the issue of EU migration policy requires a profound study. The insufficient level of its elaboration in foreign political discourse and the marked lack of thematic studies in Ukrainian political science should be noted. This allows us to consider the proposed study as relevant in the context of ensuring the long-term development of domestic political theory and practice. Indeed, a holistic view of the peculiarities and dynamics of the EU migration policy serves as the basis for an integrated approach to the implementation of Ukrainian national imperatives not only in the context of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU, but also the prospects for deepening interaction with this integration association on the way of Europeanization of Ukraine’s policy and integration with EU. In the introduction of the thesis the relevance of the chosen topic is grounded; the purpose, task, object and subject of the research are defined; the scientific novelty is argued; the methodological basis, as well as the base of sources, are characterized; the theoretical and practical significance of the obtained results are highlighted; and finally, the preliminary approbation of the research results and the structure of the paper are outlined. In Chapter 1 «Theoretical and Methodological Principles of the Study of EU Migration Policy» the current state of the study of the title problem is clarified, a general overview of the political discourse on the study of the EU migration policy is provided, the conceptual approaches and systematic theoretical work on migration and migration policy as a subject of political studies are analyzed, the role of Europeanisation in shaping a common migration policy is studied. There are two approaches to the study of migration control – at the international and national levels. At the international level migration policy is considered in the context of international relations. In this case, control over migration is interpreted as a structural need that arises because of discrepancies between open and closed public entities. In Chapter 2 «Institutional Framework of the EU Migration Policy», attention is focused on the study of the features of the formation and mechanisms of implementation of the EU migration policy, considering its legal and regulatory framework. The analysis of the formation of the EU migration policy shows that it covered four periods: the first – 1970s-80s; second – 1990’s; the third – 1999-2009; the fourth – from 2009 to today.

In Chapter 3 «Migration Policies of Member States in the Formation of the EU Migration Policy» the evolution of the migration policy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the process of establishing a common EU migration policy is examined and analyzed, the impact of Europeanization on the transformation of Poland’s migration policy after gaining membership in the EU is revealed and the dynamics of the Greek Republic in the context of EU membership is tracked. The results of European influence have been reproduced in diverse ways in the national immigration strategies of the member states. Discourse forms of interaction led to significant changes in national policy in the case of «old» member states, and prescriptive forms led to more Europeanization in the case of «new» member states. In Chapter 4, «EU Migration Policy at the Present Stage» the problems and perspectives of the EU migration policy, its external dimension and the interaction between Ukraine and the EU on migration issues are outlined. European integration and Europeanisation studies have focused primarily on relations between Member States and European supranational institutions, but the transnational nature of the asylum process and migration involves expanding the notion of responsibility for the international consequences of such processes. The conclusions of the doctoral thesis summarize the main results of the conducted research. The novelty of the issues and the constant interest of scientists in the problems of migration on the European continent emphasize the importance of studying migration policy as one of the important common EU policies. The attention of the Ukrainian academic environment is mainly concentrated on research on the theory and practice of migration. Unfortunately, in the national political science discourse, there are no comprehensive studies of the peculiarities of the EU migration policy, which makes it possible to assert the relevance of studying the outlined issues in the context of assimilation membership acquisition and implementation by Ukraine and deepening of collaboration with the EU. For the first time The institutional basis and mechanisms for implementing the EU migration policy are considered, considering the five successive periods of its formation and development (the first – 1970s-80s, the second – 1990s, the third – 1999-2009, the fourth – 2009 -2016, the fifth – 2016 to today). During the current period, the EU’s common migration policy has undergone significant changes, since migration has completely switched to the competence of supranational institutions.

The «external dimension» of the EU’s regulation on migration, which covers several areas (negotiations and conclusion of readmission agreements, «export» EU policies and instruments through intergovernmental networks and support of supranational institutions) are considered, as well as the growing role of international organizations (UNHCR; IOM) in the external Europeanization of the asylum policy and EU migration policy are substantiated. Furthermore, in the framework of the dissertation, the actual aspects and perspectives of the EU common migration policy are clarified. The fact that the EU initiatives on management of the actual migration crisis were not very successful through the system of shared competencies of the EU; a considerable number of subjects with conflicting interests in different spheres; fragmentation of relevant national programs. The potential approaches to the EU migration crisis are differentiated between the search for strategies in which each Member State will strive to ensure its own interests (which are harmful to European unity) and a more far-reaching approach to deepening cooperation within the EU and its «external» dimension to resolve a wide range of migration problems. The evolution of the member states migration policies (on the example of the Germany, the Republic of Poland and the Greek Republic) are analyzed in the context of the formation of a common EU migration policy, and it has been found that the results of European influence were differently reproduced in their national migration strategies. It was confirmed that discursive forms of interaction led to a meaningful change in national policy in the case of «old» member states, and prescriptive forms led to the greater degree of Europeanization of «new» EU member states (Poland). It was found that the prescriptive character of the EU’s influence in the case of the Europeanisation of the migration policy of Greece was supplemented by its discursive forms, assumed that European political and social innovations were often viewed in this country as a synonym for modernization.

Also, the interaction between Ukraine and the EU regarding migration in the context of the conclusion and implementation of bilateral agreements on partnership and cooperation, simplification of visa-free regime, readmission, as well as local border traffic with individual member-states of the European Union has developed in the study. The practical value of the work is determined by the scientific novelty, relevance and the possibility of their application with scientific research, practical and educational purposes. The practical significance of work as an independent contribution to Ukrainian political science is to systematize, deepen and broaden knowledge about the political aspects of the formation and development of the EU migration policy, designed to promote further study and rethinking the peculiarities of the formation and implementation of common EU policies within the framework of the national science of international relations. The profound and integral consideration of the problem opens the prospect for developing the effective approaches aimed at realizing the national interests of our state in relations with the EU in the context of the implementation of the Association Agreement and in view of the prospects of Ukraine becoming a member of this integration association. The findings can be used in the work of state bodies and non-governmental organizations, whose activities are related to the formation and implementation of Ukraine’s foreign policy priorities. Research materials may have practical application in the process of developing lectures, seminars and special courses related to the study of the European Union, current trends in international relations, peculiarities of regional development, foreign policy of individual states, etc., intended for students of the specialties: «political science» and «international relations, public communications and regional studios».

Keywords: migration policy, EU, migration, international relations, migration crisis, Poland, Greece, Germany, Ukraine, the Association Agreement.


Dr. Khrystyna Fogel, member and researcher of NGO AEI. Khrystyna has been granted an ERASMUS MUNDUS Action 2 scholarship through the BACKIS project financed by the European Commission. She has been working at University of Antwerp (Belgium) as a volunteer PhD student. Currently, her main research topic is problems of migration.

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