Reintroduction of Border Controls in the Schengen Area

ACES and ACELG lecture

Datum en tijd:
26 januari 2021 13:00 - 14:00 uur


In 2015 several EU Member States reintroduced controls at their internal borders as a response to the rising number of asylum applications in the EU. More than five years later, these controls are still in place. An analysis of the law and practice of reintroduction of border controls may tell us how borders are perceived in the area without internal borders. In this presentation I advance a twofold argument. First, I argue that, unlike earlier instances of reintroduction of border controls in the Schengen Area, border controls since 2015 expanded considerably in duration and number and that Member States’ justification for reintroducing controls at their internal borders reveals a dialectic of interiorising the functions of the external border. Second, I challenge the common assumption in EU legal scholarship that, historically, cooperation in the Schengen area developed as intergovernmental and that these remnants still shape cooperation today. Instead, I argue that historically the development of the area without internal borders was linked to Union citizens, which is reflected in the current Treaty framework. Emphasising the linkage between the abolition of border controls and Union citizenship seeks to reframe the legal debate from a focus on irregular migration to the negative effects on Union citizens.

This lecture is part of the Territorialities and Sovereignties project.


Stefan Salomon is assistant professor at the European Studies Department at the University of Amsterdam.

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