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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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The role of Schengen in the Europeanization of the migration policy: The Italian case

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The role of Schengen in the Europeanization of the migration policy

The Italian case

Simone PAOLI

Abstract: This chapter analyzes the role played by the Schengen agreements in the radical change of the Italian immigration policy which occurred between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s. On the basis of extensive research in archives, it demonstrates that an important reason that the Schengen countries resolved to act outside the European Community framework and, in this context, to originally exclude Italy was their political determination to press Italy and, ultimately, all the Southern members of the EC into adopting the Northern European approach to the problem of immigration control. On the other hand, it shows that, although it was not the sole explanatory factor, the need to comply with the Schengen membership requirements was the single most significant reason for the shift from a liberal to a restrictive legislation on migration which took place in Italy between the late 1980s and the early 1990s. A majority in both the government and the Parliament did not believe in restrictive measures but they were constrained to adopt them in order to reassure the Schengen members that Italy was able to prevent the entry of unwanted immigrants from the Mediterranean into the Schengen space.

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