The Reality of Refugee Diplomacy: EU-Turkey agreement and political narratives of legitimization


  • Maria Kristine Kolding Andersen
  • Victor Andreas Ferretti
  • Kristine Fjelde Heimstad
  • Mads Andreas Ibberskov Rødvig



The EU-Turkey Statement was introduced in March 2016 as a solution to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, with the aim of limiting irregular migration to Europe and securing the EU’s external borders. As an act of externalization of the European border and migration control, the agreement has been regarded as controversial. This paper attempts to answer how the EU-Turkey Statement has been framed in the political discourse as an attempt to legitimize the externalization of European border and migration management to a ‘safe third country’. The research question will be addressed through document and discourse analysis, and with the analytical lenses of humanitarianization, securitization and externalization of the Statement, its evaluations, and the political discourses surrounding it. In summary, the result of this analysis shows that the EU-Turkey Statement has been framed as a humanitarian and security crisis in order to justify a questionable externalization policy.