31 / 2010
Melita Poler Kovačič, Karmen Erjavec

The European Union – A New Homeland for Illegal Immigrants? A Study of Imaginaries of the European Union

Several studies deal with representation of the European Union (EU), but none of them analyzes the views of the contemporary Others of the EU. This study tries to fill this gap and to expand the post-nationalist approach to studying the EU with data gained from indepth interviews with illegal immigrants from Africa. The results show that before leaving Africa, illegal immigrants associated the EU with economic success based on the media, members of organized crime groups, and false images of immigrant life in the EU. On the basis of their experiences, their image of the EU changed: Europe is a land of repression, modern slavery, and racism.
KEYWORDS: European Union, representation, illegal immigrants, media, in-depth interviews