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Article “From the euro to the Schengen crises: European integration theories, politicization, and identity politics” written by Prof. Tanja Börzel and Prof. Thomas Risse has been published in the Journal of European Public Policy

News from Nov 20, 2017

Tanja A. Börzel and Thomas Risse

From the euro to the Schengen crises: European integration theories, politicization, and identity politics

This contribution argues that the three dominant approaches to European integration cannot fully explain why the two most recent crises of the European Union (EU) resulted in very different outcomes. Liberal intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism can account for why the euro crisis resulted in more integration, but fail to explain why the EU has been
stuck in a stalemate in the Schengen crisis. With regard to postfunctionalism, it is the other way around. To solve the puzzle, we have to consider that depoliticization through supranational delegation during the euro crisis has ultimately led to more, not less politicization. Moreover, both crises were about identity politics. Political controversies over the euro crisis have centred predominantly on questions of order, i.e., what constitutes Europe as a community and how much solidarity members of the community owe to each other under which conditions. The mass influx of migrants and refugees changed identity politics, since Eurosceptic populist parties framed the Schengen crisis in terms of borders, advocating for an exclusionary ‘fortress Europe.’ In contrary of a more inclusionary discourse, the dominance of exclusionary positions in the politicization of EU affairs has impaired an upgrading of the common European interest in the Schengen crisis.

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