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The European Border Regime After the Summer of Migration: Destabilising and Restabilising Schengen

The migrations of 2015 and the slow and inadequate responses of the European Union have led to a political crisis in the European Union. The institutions and policies of the European border and migration regime that have evolved since the Schengen Treaties of 1985 and 1990 and the inauguration of the Common European Asylum System with the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) were not able to formulate, let alone implement, a timely and appropriate answer. We argue that despite the current public perception of a “refugee crisis”, the EU is indeed dealing with a deep and systemic crisis of its migration and border policies. The authors argue that the roots of this crisis don’t primarily lie in the migrations of 2015, but date back to the collapse of the Mediterranean border regime in the wake of the Arab Spring of 2011 and the ensuing controversies around issues such as the perceived partiality of the refugee distribution mechanism of the Dublin system as well as the mounting public outcry resulting from the repeated instances of tragedies in the Mediterranean, epitomised by the Mare Nostrum operation launched by the Italian state in late 2013. Currently, the approaches to solving this crisis are heterogeneous. Not all of them may be compatible with the Schengen system, since the re-institution of national border controls is often at their core. At times, other suggestions involve radical move towards a deepened europeanisation of migration and border policies, such as the creation of the European Asylum Support Office and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. In the article, which is based on ethnographic research conducted in south-eastern Europe, the authors discuss the developments around the ongoing dynamics of the destabilisation and restabilisation of Schengen.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 278 - Border Regimes
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2019 , volume volume 47 , issue issue 278
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