What's Wrong with Schengen? Border Disputes and the Nature of Integration in the Area Without Internal Borders
21 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 16, 2014
Border disputes thrived in the Schengen system over the last few years. There was litigation before the CJEU on differentiated integration, there were institutional skirmishes between Parliament and Council, and there were real border disputes between France and Italy in the wake of the Arab Spring. This article uses Schengen’s crises in order to elaborate upon a number of flaws and inconsistencies in the acquis. It argues that most of these flaws and inconsistencies can be traced back to the way in which national and European competences have been delimited in this area, demarcations which in turn betray the contradictory driving forces for Schengen integration. The article concludes that integration in a field so riddled with national sensitivities and supranational symbolism cannot follow a linear, comprehensive and predictable path, which may be problematic in that the European judicial system currently lacks instruments that can contribute towards greater coherence and consistency. As such, Schengen’s crises may also tell us something about the shortcomings of traditional legal theories on integration.
Keywords: EU law, Schengen, European integration, differentiated integration
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