Doctoral thesis
Open access

The trade-migration policy nexus in the European Union: a conceptual and empirical analysis

Number of pages179
Imprimatur date2024-01-19
Defense date2023-11-13

In my PhD research, I study the link between migration clauses in trade agreements and immigration policies with a focus on the European Union. Whereas international norms and cooperation are weak in global migration governance, trade agreements increasingly include commitments on immigration and allow for binding and usually long-lasting international commitments. The PhD project consists of one conceptual contribution and three empirical articles analysing the nexus between migration governance and trade policy in the EU’s preferential trade agreements (PTAs) and in EU immigration policy- making. The first article lays the basis for analysing the interplay between the policy logics of trade and migration by putting forward a conceptualization of ‘migration’ and ‘mobility’ as perspectives on human movement, rather than objective realities. I argue that these perspectives, based on an emphasis on place, borders and belonging ('migration') or on flows and networks ('mobility') are a useful tool to understand rationales of policy-making on human movement. The second article studies how such underlying perspectives shape policy-making by analysing the negotiations leading up to the adoption of the EU Directive on intra-corporate transferees. I find that by framing this directive as a matter of temporary mobility in the name of international trade and competitiveness, rather than sovereignty- encroaching immigration, the European Commission enabled negotiations in a mode of ‘quiet politics’, facilitating the adoption of supranational immigration rules in this highly contentious policy area. The third and fourth articles are co-authored with Sandra Lavenex and Philipp Lutz and leverage the novel Migration Provisions in Trade Agreements (MITA) database developed in the framework of the nccr – on the move project in the context of which this PhD thesis was written. They both directly study the role of migration policies and politics in EU trade agreements. The third article compares how the EU uses preferential agreements to expand, complement and substitute the multilateral regime complex on migration. The fourth article studies the drivers of migration control provisions in the EU’s trade agreements, and compares the explanatory power of strategic and institutionalist explanations for when the EU leverages its trade power to incite cooperation on readmission and migration control by third countries. Overall, the thesis enhances our understanding of migration policy-making in the hitherto underexplored field of the trade-migration nexus and of the EU as a migration policy actor.

  • Trade
  • Migration policy
  • European Union
  • Preferential trade agreements
Citation (ISO format)
HOFFMEYER-ZLOTNIK, Paula. The trade-migration policy nexus in the European Union: a conceptual and empirical analysis. 2024. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:175285
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Creation01/31/2024 10:58:17 AM
First validation02/29/2024 3:21:01 PM
Update time02/29/2024 3:21:01 PM
Status update02/29/2024 3:21:01 PM
Last indexation05/06/2024 6:03:53 PM
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