Migration policy in the European Union: A neglected issue that tend to become the catalyst for the dissolution of European solidarity with Professor Roy Panagiotopoulou

The event is part of the seminar series Migration in a Global Perspective and will take place on 13 December, Room 102, Faculty of Sociology and Social Assistance, Panduri Campus at 17.00.

The development of a common migration policy in the European Union (EU) is embedded in wider social, political and economic processes that in the majority of cases articulate an endangered society. Integration of migrants into the societies of the member states face a wide range of challenges and political legitimacy such as: economic and financial globalization, rise of poverty, deterioration of living conditions mostly in cities, revival of racist and xenophobic parties and movements, estrangement of the electorate from the traditional political parties and elites, rise of multiculturalism. In the last two years the EU citizens experience migration as a threat to public order, insecurity (because of terrorism), cultural identity, social cohesion, shrinking welfare state services and labor market stability. To put it short migration endangers the good life in west European societies. The main question is: how is migration connected to representations of societal dangers and how is the development of a common EU migration policy enhancing solidarity among the member states and sustain the main ideas and values of a united Europe? Furthermore, I will use the example of Greece to show how migration flows have developed in the last 2-3 years and how effective or ineffective the common migration policy deals with this problem. After a brief overview on migration policy in Europe and especially in the EU, I intend to focus on the recent migration flows (2014-2016) and their impact on social cohesion and Eurosceptic xenophobic tendencies arising among some North European countries. The shift to right wing extremism in many countries threatens a community of shared values, moral universalism, and liberal and secular consensus which make the ideological core of the EU vulnerable. What are the different perspectives driving the debate—and the policy response—that must be taken into account? What kind of national, political cleavages are emerging and will shake the European community to the core in the near future? These are some questions that the presentation will pose, analyze, try to set up explanations and tackle future perspectives.

Short BIO: Roy Panagiotopoulou is Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Athens. She completed her studies and her PhD at the University of Heidelberg. Previous appointments include the positions of Scientific Assistant at the Institute of Sociology, University of Heidelberg, Research Associate at the Ministry of Research and Technology (Greece), Research Fellow at the National Center for Social Research of Greece. She is co-chair of the Research Network Communications and Media Research of the European Sociological Association (ESA). Professor Panagiotopoulou’s research and teaching interests are in political communication and electoral campaigning, social movements and NGO’s, Euroscepticism and populist movements, organizational communication, electronic bureaucracy, regional television, new technologies and new media, promotion and media coverage of the Olympic Games. Professor Panagiotopoulou participated in many conferences and published numerous articles and is the author of the books: Communication in Organizations (Kritiki 1997), Television Beyond Frontiers: Regional and Local Television in Greece (Kastaniotis 2004), and editor of the books, The ‘Construction’ of Reality and the Mass Media (Alexandria 1998), Globalization and Modern Society (National Centre for Social Research 2003), Digital Challenge: Media and Democracy (Typothito 2004) and Athens 2004: Post-Olympic Considerations (Ethniko Typografeio 2006) and Social Development in Modern Greece (Sakkoulas 2006).

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