Transformations in Greek Migration Policy after 2015: Securitization Practices and Precarity of Refugees

  • Nikos Papadakis University of Crete
  • Georgia Dimari University of Crete


The European refugee crisis of 2015 unveiled the incapacity of member states to act at a united front. Indeed, the innumerous refugee flows from Asia, mainly Syria, combined with unprecedented numbers of migrants from Africa, have prompted a series of diverse member-state responses, profoundly transforming European migration policy. The underlying procedures that relate to processes, such as the ongoing Revision of the Dublin Regulation, the European Agenda on Migration (2015), the EU-Turkey Deal (2016) and others, have tilted the migration policy apparatus of the EU towards security. This situation has not left Greece intact, as it was the entry point for those trying to reach Europe amidst the refugee crisis, resulting in Greece being transformed from a traditionally transit country, to a host one. A major trend that is observed in the Greek case (as well as in the EU) is that refugees tend to be securitized. This means that refugees have been perceived as a threat from several political elite actors, through the use of speech acts with the referent object being (mainly) societal security. As an outcome, the Greek migration policy has gradually adopted some excessive measures. What are the implications? Preliminary analysis shows that this practice has a direct impact on the precarity of refugees, contradicting an inclusive approach to migration. Hence, the contribution of this study is twofold. First, it seeks to unpack and present the transformation of Greek migration policies, during the post-2015 period. Second, this study, while briefly presenting key-data on the refugee flows, aspires to cast light on the impact the abovementioned existing transformations have on the precarity of refugees. 


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Author Biographies

Nikos Papadakis, University of Crete

Nikos Papadakis is Professor, Director of the Centre for Political Research & Documentation (KEPET) and former Head of the Department of Political Science, at the University of Crete. He is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the AGEP of the Zhengzhou University (ZZU), China. Further, he is a Member of the Scientific Board of the National Centre of Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA) of Greece, while he is the Director of the Centre for Training and LLL of the University of Crete. In addition, he is a member of the Standing Group of the ECPR Political Culture Research Network. 

Georgia Dimari, University of Crete

Georgia Dimari is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Political Science of the University of Crete. She holds a PhD degree from the same department, with her thesis focusing on the (de)securitization of Migration in Greece. Her fields of interest revolve around securitization/desecuritization of migration. She currently participates as researcher of the Department of Political Science and the Department of Mathematics of the University of Crete in the research program entitled "Management of Migration in Greece: Construction of a Pilot Model (Start-up) for Forecasting Migration Flows and Development of Policy Scenarios for Greek Immigration Policy (PreMoMiGr)".