Europia: The Changing Character of the EU and the Communication of the Immigration Crisis

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper argues for a new theoretical framework regarding the communication of the immigration crisis in the EU. Thus far,debates about European integration were defined by the binary discourse of Euroscepticism and Federalism. Whereas Euroscepticism capitalises on feelings of cultural loss andinsecurity in order to reject further integration and open borders,most liberal parties reluctantly support the idea of a federal Europe. This binary has reached its analytical limits and cannot assess the impact of immigration on the European project. First,this binary is inadequate because it excludes those who reside in the EU but are not officially part of it, namely refugees and undocumented immigrants. Second, it fails to address the ambiguities of national and European identities and how these identities are conceptualised outside institutions and officialdiscourses. Third, it does not contribute to a narrative about the European project but instead assesses institutions and policies. Drawing on policy documents (Detention Centres; DublinRegulation; Refugee Relocation System), media representations of the immigration crisis, and on political rhetoric on sovereignty and border control the paper introduces the concept of Europia.Europia shifts the debate from the discourse of Eurosceptics and Federalists to the capacity of immigration to create utopian and dystopian visions about Europe. Europia exists between the sociological analysis of immigration and an imaginary future of the EU viewed through the prism of crisis. Therefore, Europia serves as an analytical tool for a series of actions and mentalities concerning the way immigration authorities construct dystopian environments for immigrants and refugees; the way states understand cultural homogeneity as a political utopia; the way the arrival and presence of immigrants contributes to a dystopia of atorn social fabric; and the way immigrants and asylum seekers view Europe as a utopia of prosperity, rule of law, and freedom.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2016
EventPolitical Studies Association, Media and Politics Group Annual General Conference: Media and Politics in Times of Crisis and Change - London School of Economics , London , United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Dec 201613 Dec 2016

Academic conference

Academic conferencePolitical Studies Association, Media and Politics Group Annual General Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Dive into the research topics of 'Europia: The Changing Character of the EU and the Communication of the Immigration Crisis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this