Soumaya Majdoub is a PhD Researcher with a multidisciplinary background. Her doctoral research project is about migration and Malthusian thinking. This research project fits in the broader interdisciplinary research project ‘Cities & Newcomers’ at the VUB. The focus of this project lies on the relationship between perceived population growth and pressure, (economic) development and international migrations on the one hand and the political and public discourse about migration on the other.
The European Union has been facing challenges in the implementation of an efficient and comprehensive approach on migration and asylum over the last few decades. The EU has previously tried to take several initiatives. However, to date, the EU measures on asylum and migration have failed to address the challenges. The announcement of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum raised mixed reactions from political parties across Europe. This paper investigates the distinctions between previous EU measures in place and the New Pact. In particular, what does this New Pact offer more than previous policies? Which interests are represented? How are facts formulated? Looking at the problematisation of migration in the New Pact, by means of Bacchi’s WPR approach to Critical Discourse Analysis, we seek to clarify the ideological basis of the discourse on migration, to outline dominant discourses and interests and to reveal the fundamental mechanisms of thinking. The primary data include the content of the official document and meeting coverages. The second component consists of semi-structured interviews with officials from the European Commission, Members of the European Parliament, EU Council and other experts to provide additional in-depth context. The preliminary results show that while the Pact appears to be promising for the EU’s current migration challenges, the implementation and practicability of the Pact will follow the same challenges as the previous measures. In the same vein, the member states take the restrictive measures indicated in the Pact into account more than the humanitarian support and solidarity propositions.
What are the motives of national governments for opposing to sign up the Pact? To what extent are Malthus’ theoretical ideas reflected in these debates and motives?
The focus of this research will be on the relationship between population growth, population pressure, (economic) development and international migrations. Part of the research consists in critical discourse analysis of the documents and propositions on migration of political parties and news channels. The objective is to unravel the (rational) arguments used to justify the current migration policies in Europe and to find out the dominant ideas or concepts that are influencing regulation of migration and day-to-day policing in European cities.