A European Crisis: Considering EU Institutional Framework in Light of the Migration Crisis in Greece

Christine Ebert

Student thesis: Master thesis


Throughout 2015, more than one million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe. Most of those in Greece. Caught between the Schengen Agreement on the one hand, which tasks Greece with protecting its external borders, and the Dublin Regulation on the other, which places the responsibility for processing asylum application with the first country of entry, Greece was quickly overwhelmed. As migrants left Greece behind and travelled across Europe heading for countries such as Sweden and Germany, member states seemed at a loss. Agreement on how to effectively deal with the crisis proved hard to come by, and by the end of the year, six EU countries had reinstated border control as a response to the influx of migrants. This thesis seeks to assess how the crisis has affected the EU institutional framework for dealing with migrants and to surmise what the consequences thereof might be. The institutional framework selected concerns the Schengen Agreement and the Dublin Regulation, while Frontex will also be considered due to its involvement with EU’s external border. Securitisation is applied to the institutional frameworks, though no evidence is found that they represent a securitisation of migration within the EU. The theory of path dependence is applied to assess whether we might be dealing with a critical juncture. While the institutional frameworks contain some gaps, the biggest gap that has become apparent is the division between member states as to the purpose of the European Union.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages74
SupervisorsMagali Gravier