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The Borders of Schengen

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Edited By Alice Cunha, Marta Silva and Rui Frederico

Currently, we are witnessing a «border game» with participants on a global scale. The massive movement of illegal immigrants and refugees who have arrived in Europe over the last few months has led political leaders, activists’ movements and anonymous citizens to rethink practices and discourses. The media have multiplied news stories about mobilization initiatives that go well beyond the sphere of the state and even operate on the fringes of the law. Nationalism and identity issues have found their way onto the EU and its member-states’ agenda while the international community argues about the urgency to collaborate to address one of the greatest problems seen in Europe since the Second World War. Schengen borders have been suffering reconfigurations on an almost daily basis and Schengen has even been temporarily suspended in some countries, with the ghost of the end of the Union hovering over Europe.
The series of multidisciplinary texts collected in this book offer the reader a variety of perspectives on the understanding of the Schengen area. Broadly speaking, this volume includes reflections on subjects that embrace the debates on the concept and practices of the free movement of persons within Europe, the security dimension of the European Union, illegal immigration and migration management, human rights and the role of various players and interests.
This is the book to read if you wish to understand the latest developments in the Schengen area on its 30 th anniversary.
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Dialogues beyond the ‘fortress Europe’ : Tracing back the genesis and evolution of the ‘free circulation of persons’ concept through EP Schengen Area debates, 1985-2015

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Dialogues beyond the ‘Fortress Europe’

Tracing back the Genesis and Evolution of the ‘Free Circulation of Persons’ Concept through EP Schengen Area Debates, 1985-2015

Cristina BLANCO SÍO-LÓPEZ

Abstract: This contribution aims to enhance the mapping and critical analysis of the evolving priorities and policy-making objectives of the EP key players upholding or resisting the building of the Schengen Area and, more particularly, the consolidation of the principle of the free circulation of persons within the EU. As this historical process touches upon the complexities of the construction of transnational identities, it also aspires to provide the complementary methodological viewpoints of history of concepts and critical discourse analysis for the study of socio-political relations and democratic decision-making. Indeed, the unconventional EP debates on this matter can help us to elucidate if free movement of persons was being granted as a subsidiary concession or if it constituted and end in itself, being, therefore, in direct relation with EU foundational propositions and long term hopes based on the principles of solidarity and sustainability. In short, the critical examination of such documentary corpus could play an essential role in empowering EU citizens and residents arguments against any possible involution of the Schengen area into the largely condemned ʻFortress Europe’. Hence, it could also aid to re-encounter that particular version of European integration devoted to transforming stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.

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