The new political geography of migration in Europe between external borders and internal freedom of movement

Alfonso Giordano


The creation of the Schengen area has modified the political geography of migration with important implications from a variety of perspectives, all of which affect the migration management policies of EU member States as well as those of third countries. On the one hand, the Schengen area established the first supranational border in the history of Europe; on the other hand, it obliged a small group of countries (those bordering non-EU States) to monitor the new border, manage refugee flows and repatriate illegal migrants from third countries, despite often being unprepared to tackle the migration phenomenon. The policies implemented in both the Mediterranean and continental countries have revealed a lack of long-term vision in dealing with several migration related issues. Currently, the absence of a single EU migration policy, the egocentric approach of some non-Mediterranean European countries and the re-emergence of border walls characterize the context. Nevertheless, migration flows and terrorism in Europe represent significant opportunities to strengthen the common European area, rather than weakening it. Moreover, evidence suggests that such global phenomena are better addressed at a supranational level rather than on a national basis.


Schengen, border, mobility, migration policies, Frontex

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