Securitising Refugee and Asylum Policies in Europe - Although the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers entering Europe has de-clined from the peak earlier in this decade, the volume of claims is still significant and the issue is still of high political saliency at both member state level and at Commission and Union level. The process of harmonising European asylum and immigration policies and the development of the Qualification Directive reflect the continuing concern to ‘manage’ migration, or at least this sector of inward migration to Europe. This paper explores the contradictory ways in which the human security of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe has been interwoven with wider and competing policy discourses. It argues that the security needs of this particular category have been subsumed within the broader framework of internal and external migration management to safeguard the primacy of the single European market. Equally, the external threats to European security posed by migrants and refugees/asylum seekers in particular - a threat largely perceived and symbolic rather than real - have been expropriated to support a political rhetoric and a national and supranational agenda which subordinates the human security needs of refugees to a wider imperative of "securitisation". Based on raising anxieties about the "other", both these trajectories - human security and securitisation - have been to the detriment of those most in need protection. This paper reviews these trends, the contradictory dynamics of national and supranational interests and the consequences for the human security of those placed at risk by these policies and processes.
Keywords: Refugees, European Union, securitization