IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

With what implications? An assessment of EU migration governance between Union regulation and national diversity


  • Emma Carmel

    () (Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath, UK)


The analysis of EU migration policy has been focused primarily on evaluating its relationship to EU law, or its application to individual member states. This article argues that neither focus can address the full implications and effects of EU migration governance. The Union’s migration and free movement policies set out to organise populations both within and beyond its formal borders. They are part of the broader governance of the European Union as an integrated market, and as an international policymaker. As such, the characteristics and effects of migration governance across the EU as a whole need to be assessed. At the EU level, EU policy and law on migration creates the illusion of policy coherence, applied to all member states, incomers and residents. Yet these apparently coherent EU policies always co-exist with three confounding factors: 1) national and local variation in migration policies; 2) national and local labour market variation, particularly in the role of informal economy, and 3) profound member state hierarchies in the EU’s political economy, reinforced by the ongoing crisis. However, this does not mean that the EU’s migration policymaking is irrelevant to member states. Rather, migration governance in the EU is co-produced by the cross-cutting and sometimes contradictory policies of other actors. With its illusion of policy coherence, this co-produced governance both disguises and entrenches significant hierarchy among member states. It contributes to an EU polity which manages diversity through inequalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Emma Carmel, 2014. "With what implications? An assessment of EU migration governance between Union regulation and national diversity," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 11(2), pages 137-153, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:11:y:2014:i:2:p:137-153

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mig:journl:v:11:y:2014:i:2:p:137-153. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (TPLondon). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.