The European Union diaspora dilemma: to dodge or to dive in
MetadataShow full item record
The European Union member states have long been confronted with the phenomenon of diaspora resulting from both emigration and immigration. For centuries European communities have settled outside of the EU, almost creating ‘little homelands’ in various corners of the world. The same has occurred and still occurs with diasporas originating from third countries and residing in EU territory. A further feature makes the EU context unique when it comes to diasporas, namely, the opportunity for EU citizens to freely move across the borders of member states due to free mobility policies. The possibilities presented by free mobility have led to the formation of many diaspora communities in EU member states coming from other EU member states. However, over the past years much more attention has been devoted to large ‘immigrating’ diasporas, given the increased influx of migrants from third countries. This article analyses the approaches of member states and the EU as an organisation towards diasporas and diaspora engagement, including the question of whether any clear policy frameworks to mobilise diaspora actors exist. The first part provides a brief mapping of the ‘EU diasporas’, while the second part focuses on the various diaspora policy strategies adopted by member states when dealing with their own diasporas and those within their territories. By then studying the cases of France and Bulgaria, the article answers the first research question: What is the relationship between EU member states and diasporas within their policy frameworks? The last part examines the diaspora issue at the institutional level of the EU, answering the second research question: What is the relationship between the EU and diaspora within its policy framework? This question is of particular interest since the diaspora topic has garnered increased attention in the context of several EU high priority issues and because the EU regularly provides guidance for its member states through policy making.