Advocating for migrants rights at EU level : an analysis of advocacy activities concerning the 2011 amendments of the Frontex regulation

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Ott, Rika
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The respect, protection and fulfilment of migrants’ rights count amongst the most pressing human rights challenges the European Union (EU) and its Member States are facing. At the same time, migration is increasingly framed and treated as a security or economic issue. In this context, migrants’ rights advocacy towards EU decision-makers becomes increasingly important. However, the advocacy practices of pro-migrant groups at EU level have so far received little attention in scientific research. This thesis explores these practices focusing on advocacy in the legislative process concerning the regulation amending the mandate of the EU border agency Frontex in 2011. Its main findings result from a qualitative content analysis of data gathered in semi-structured interviews with staff members of five pro-migrant groups by use of categories deduced from interest group research. The analysis sheds light on concrete advocacy activities, identifying influence strategies and channels of influence used, as well as information provided to decision-makers. Furthermore, based on findings and insights gained during the research process, characteristics of migrants’ rights advocacy at EU level are suggested, which can be seen as signs of a professionalisation of this advocacy. This study demonstrates the applicability of concepts from interest group research on migrants’ rights advocacy, while also identifying needs and opportunities for further theory development and research.
Second semester University: KU Leuven
advocacy, boundaries, Europe, emigration and immigration law, European Union, immigration, migrants, migration