The road to the EU Turkey Refugee Deal

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On March 18, 2015, an agreement between the European Union and Turkey was implemented aimed at the reduction of irregular migrant crossing to the EU. Though the EU-Turkey readmission agreement presented a solution to the European refugee crisis, which had been at its height in 2015, the details of the agreement were almost immediately criticized. The agreement stated that Turkey would be a safe third country for refugees, under which terms the EU could return migrants -who had crossed into Greece through Turkey- back to Turkey. Amongst the opponents to the deal were several humanitarian agencies and the United Nations who problematized the designation of Turkey as a safe third country due to the nations troubled record with human rights. These concerns had in the past also been voiced by the EU and individual EU member states. The apparent change in the framing of Turkey suggests the desecuritization of Turkey. This thesis uses a frame analysis to investigate the frames that were used to describe Turkey in Dutch discourse and uses theory-testing processtracing to test whether a process of desecuritization can be observed in the Turkish case. Drawing on securitization theory, the research identifies the presence of desecuritization frames and provides evidence that shows that part of the desecuritization mechanism that was deductively gathered from the securitization literature is present.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen