Migration – a Key Concept in the EU's Enlargement Process

  • Katja Holböll


The purpose of this article is to interpret and analyse the role played by migration in the European Commission’s Enlargement Package, which requires an understanding of the changes over time associated with the ideas of migration. This study therefore employs a theoretical and methodological approach which considers concepts and their relation to history. Reinhart Koselleck, who is considered to be one of the most important historians of the twentieth century, has particularly studied the history of concepts and the transformation of political language in terms of the leading concepts deployed in such language. This article applies Koselleck’s theoretical perspective in an analysis and discussion of what role migration plays in the past, present and potentially also the future enlargement processes within specific enlargement documents over the period of 2014–2018. The fact that this period of time has proven to be dynamic and challenging is in itself the clearest evidence of migration undergoing conceptual changes within the enlargement packages.