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Perspectives, Narratives and Images of Europe as a Threat to its Security

European Union
Extremism
Governance
Integration
Security
Immigration
Rut Bermejo
Rey Juan Carlos University
Isabel Bazaga-Fernández
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Rut Bermejo
Rey Juan Carlos University
Manuel Tamayo
Rey Juan Carlos University

Abstract

In recent years, European institutions identified migrants as holding wrong, or at least distorted, perceptions about the European Union. Those perceptions are a strong pull factor in their journeys to Europe that lead to deception and dissapointment once in Europe. However, at the same time, those perceptions seem to cause different problems and threats to Europe. These narratives and perceptions affect destination preferences since they have a powerful influence on how a country of destination is perceived and they transport social as well as individual experiences, hopes and expectations. In the context of migration, they often support collective sense-making of what it means to be a migrant, and they also create beliefs about the possibilities to integrate into a new society or the potential for return. This paper investigates the most spread narratives and perceptions and explores how they could lead to threats and security issues. The maladjustment between images and reality is said to lead to problems, false expectations, security threats, particularly border security issues, or even radicalisation.