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4 - Security and migration

Leader: ESADE Business & Law School


Security is a public good and guaranteeing it is one of the main duties of governments and certain international organisations. Today, security threats are taking on an increasingly global and multidimensional character. Traditional security issues such as inter- and intra-state conflicts remain (see, for example, the tensions in the Korean Peninsula or the civil war in the Central African Republic). However, non-military threats – such as violent extremism and global terrorism, cyber warfare and so-called hybrid threats – are also developing and at times intermingling with traditional security issues. The emerging security threats are more difficult to address under the global rules and architecture of security, which is embodied by the UN Security Council and implemented by national and regional actors such as the EU, NATO, and the African Union. Moreover, many of the traditional security actors are currently being questioned, on the grounds of legitimacy (e.g. the UN Security Council), internal discussions (e.g. NATO), or relevance (e.g. OSCE). One issue which is often presented as a cause and as a consequence of security disputes is that of migration. Even though this narrative is highly contested, the policies of most developed states, including the EU, is to take a security approach to migration and to try to limit it as much as possible. At the same time, a global regime to govern migration is still largely missing. The EU, with its 70 year-long history of peace and its ambition to contribute to peace and security in the region and in the world, has accelerated its security cooperation of late, in particular with the recently initiated Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the European Defence Action Plan and the EU-NATO Joint Declaration. Understanding how these initiatives fit into the new dynamic context and how to continue adapting to the new security threats is important for the EU and global security. This WP’s objectives are to:

  • Map global security threats and the global security regime, and understand how the most recent    developments in both affect the EU’s security policies;
  • Study the European security architecture (particularly NATO and OSCE) and assess its ability to respond to today’s threats as well as the EU’s interrelations with this architecture;
  • Study the rapidly evolving regime of cyber governance and its capacity to address today’s cyber threats;
  • Clarify the actual links between security and migration among the various discourses addressing them.

Marie Vandendriessche - ESADE Business&Law School, WP4 Leader

Reports Work Package 4 - Security and Migration