Kosovo's Refugees and the ED: Wherein Lies the Threat?

Joanne van Selm


The crisis in Kosovo, which has developed
over the course of a decade into a conflict
involving more states than any since
World War II has resulted in the
displacement of almost the entire Kosovar-
Albanian population, as well as of a great
many Serbs and other regional
populations. The European Union (EU)
memberstates have prided themselves on
their unity of action under NATO, in
tackling this crisis. However, there has
been no unity of policy toward the "refugees"
- in spite of the entry into force of the
Treaty of Amsterdam, with its goal of 'an
area of freedom security and justice'
involving a common asylum and immigration
policy. The most frequently heard
arguments for the reluctance to accept
Kosovars in EU states are that this would
only encourage ethnic cleansing, and that
EU states already have too many
immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees
who will not go home. The position of the
"refugees" is thus a politically difficult
one, and becomes a security issue in many
senses. In this article, the author explores
some ideas about the nature of the nexus
between refugees (and migration more
generally) and security in the post-Cold
War world. In doing this, she will set out
to critique the writings on 'societal
security' in particular, posing the key
question as to where exactly the threat lies
as far as refugees are concerned.

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