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"Freedom of Movement within 'Fortress Europe'"

Maas, Willem. (2005) "Freedom of Movement within 'Fortress Europe'". In: UNSPECIFIED, Austin, Texas. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    Introduction. Much attention has been focused on those seeking to enter ‘fortress Europe’ ­ whether the concept is understood to refer only to the EU Schengen countries or to include non-EU Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland, or the countries which joined the Union in May 2004. Yet internal mobility within ‘fortress Europe’ is at least as worthy of consideration. The rise of freedom of movement rights in Europe ­ now codified with the legal category of European Union citizenship ­ represents a startling reversal of the historical tradition of state sovereignty. States have historically been defined in terms of insiders (citizens) and outsiders (foreigners). The new supranational rights supersede this traditional distinction by reducing or even removing the ability of European states to discriminate between their own citizens and those of other EU member states. Borders within the European Union still matter, but the remaining barriers to freedom of movement within ‘fortress Europe’ are practical rather than legal, and even they are rapidly disappearing. Exceptions to the European free movement regime still exist ­ such as the case of individuals deemed to pose a significant threat to public health or public security. But the rights of free movement have now been extended to virtually all European citizens, even though there will be a phase-in period for workers from most of the new accession states. By contrast, third-country nationals ­ citizens neither of the host state (first country) nor of another EU member state (second country) but of a non-EU state ­ continue to be denied freedom of movement rights within the Union, despite the efforts of the Commission and some national governments to extend them the same rights as those enjoyed by EU citizens. Exceptions to Schengen also continue to exist, as with special events such as the European soccer cup, for which Portugal in 2004 (just as Belgium and the Netherlands in 2000) was granted a temporary exemption on the requirement to abstain from checking the identification of individuals crossing Portuguese borders. On the whole, however, the picture that emerges for freedom of movement within Europe is one of a continent in which Europeans can move about freely, and in which state borders (though clearly not the borders between ‘fortress Europe’ and the rest of the world!) have lost most of the significance they once possessed. This paper lays out the development of the Schengen system and places it within the context of European Union citizenship.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJC > free movement/border control
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJC > European citizenship
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJC > Schengen/Prum/border control/freedom to travel
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2005 (9th), March 31-April 2, 2005
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2006
    Page Range: p. 13
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:45
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/6894

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