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


  • Joanne van Selm University of Amsterdam




Kosovo, European Union, EU, policy, migration, security, refugees, identity, intolerance


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) member states 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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How to Cite

van Selm, J. (1999). Kosovo’s Refugees and the ED: Wherein Lies the Threat?. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 18(3), 47–52. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.22026

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