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The Europeanization of Migration Policy

The Schengen Acquis between the Priorities of Legal Harmonization and Fragmentation


Robert Fischer

The legislative dynamic in the post-Amsterdam era is increasingly challenging the Schengen Acquis as it leads to both legal harmonization and fragmentation. SIS, EURODAC, Prüm and, more recently, VIS have changed Europe’s law enforcement authorities considerably. However, it is questionable whether the fragmented legal harmonization can provide sufficient compensatory measures in light of the increasing international criminal links and illicit migration within the Schengen countries. This analysis focuses on the theoretical considerations regarding the various concepts of Europeanization, and on their effect on the multi-layered policy processes and actors implementing the Schengen complexes. This work is directed at students, researchers and practitioners wishing to survey the current legal situation.


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Europeanization as explanatory concept for European Integration in migration policy Europeanization is a concept explaining the mechanisms of transmission of norms, legislation, institution building, and ideas in general between the Eu- ropean Union and its Member States. The concept has been popular since 1990s (Ladrech, Radaelli, Börzel and Risse, Olsen etc.), and evolved today into model explaining mingling and interaction of European and national both organizational and political logic of governance in many policy areas. It enables to capture both internal and external changes which explains by intermediary factors such as institutions, formal and informal rules, procedures etc. Europeanization is usually applied as a two-way model having both directions – top-down, i.e. from the European Union Member States (called downloading), and bottom-up, i.e. from the Member States to the European Union (called uploading). The downloading establishes adapta- tion, while the uploading forms projection of national topics and interests at the European level. Europeanization explains changes usually within politics, political processes and political systems. The book you are holding in your hand is unique in linking Europeanization with a specific area of interest, specific po- litics, which is justice and home affairs of the European Union. Building the European Union as an area of freedom, security, and justice, i.e. building clo- se justice and home affairs cooperation, is very close to the “neurological sys- tem” of every state. It touches the very essence of the state, sovereignty and, thus, integration in this field is very cautious. The text seeks to explain...

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