«A thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of ...»
64 government in the UK. 163 Thus, the single market appealed to both pro-integration member states as well as those that supported Neo-liberal ideas.164 Out of these ideas arose formulations that became enshrined in the 1985 Commission White Paper and the subsequent SEA. 165 Most important of these, in light of the topic of this study, is an articulation with an important potential to configure borders. The SEA defines the internal market as: “an area without internal frontiers in which the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured …” 166 The White Paper goes into more detail of what unifying the EC, subsequently the EU, market entails: “Member States will agree on the abolition of barriers of all kinds, harmonisation of rules, approximation of legislation and tax structures, strengthening of monetary cooperation and the necessary flanking measures to encourage European firms to work together.”167 These articulations mean that in essence, the establishment of the single market is a goal that will result in the emergence of a common space in the EC/EU. This is what the above formulation in the SEA implies. In turn, as the citation of the White Paper shows, this aim will be achieved through undertaking measures that make less important different kinds of borders between the member states.
The SEA and the resulting project of an internal market became crucial points in the process of integration in Europe because as Wallace argues: “it fits Community philosophy, it suits the doctrinal preferences of the current British Conservative government, and it would draw in its train a mass interconnections with other fields of action.”168 Tranholm-Mikkelsen and George provide more details on the last point. For example, according to George: “Functional spillover was clearly at work in the way that the economic objectives of the EC pushed it in the direction of also taking over some of 163 Andrew Gamble, The Free Economy and the Strong State (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1988), esp. Ch. 2 164 For an exploration of the reasons why other EC member states, besides the UK, supported the single market see Stephen George, Politics and Policy in the European Community (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), pp. 161-162 165 For a good and concise overview of the period of reinvigoration of the integration efforts in the EC and the innovations contained in the SEA see Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, „Neo-Functionalism: Obstinate or Obsolete? A Reappraisal in the Light of the New Dynamism of the EC‟, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 20: 1 (1991), pp. 1-22, pp. 10-12 166 Article 13, Single European Act 167 European Commission, Completing the Internal Market, COM (85) 310 final, 14.06.1985, p. 6 168 Helen Wallace cited in Stephen George, Politics and Policy in the European Community (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 161 65 the responsibilities for social policy from the member states.”169 And TranholmMikkelsen argues that: “a functional link is created between the internal market and the Community‟s environmental policies.” 170 However: “The most obvious examples, perhaps, are the consequences of the plans for the abolition of physical frontiers.”171 I also show in Chapter Three that there is a strong trend in Commission discourse towards linking the efforts in the two areas.
Thus, the SEA and its project for the internal market is a good starting point for an inquiry into the ambiguous configuration of borders by the discourse of the European Commission because it has the potential to provide rich empirical examples of border transformations. This happens in two main ways. Firstly, it obviously is an endeavor towards the construction of a common area where previous borders between the member states should become less important. Secondly, the observed functional linkage between the original areas encompassed under the SEA (which are economic) and other fields (such as environment, social policy and so forth) is very important because it has led to furthering the integration efforts in these other fields. As such, the transformation of borders has been extended to these other areas as well, making them also eligible for investigation. Furthermore, in the light of the focus of my study, the European Commission played a very active role in the internal market initiative. According to George, for example: “the Commission played a promotive and facilitating role in getting the government to realize the dimensions of the problem … and the possible role of the EC in supplying a solution … It manipulated a conjunction of international and domestic circumstances to push forward the process of European integration …” 172 This is crucial because it means that when the internal market was initiated, the Commission had a leading role to play. The Commission promotion of the SEA coupled with its aim 169 Ibid., p. 216 170 Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, „Neo-Functionalism: Obstinate or Obsolete? A Reappraisal in the Light of the New Dynamism of the EC‟, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 20: 1 (1991), pp. 1-22, p.
13 171 Ibid., p. 12. Arne Niemann, Philippe Schmitter illustrate this argument in relation to the development of cooperation under Schengen in „Neofunctionalism‟ in Thomas Diez, Antje Wiener (eds), European Integration Theory (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), pp. 45-66, p. 58 172 Stephen George, Politics and Policy in the European Community (2nd ed.) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 163. For other studies that make the same claim see for example Jeppe TranholmMikkelsen, „Neo-Functionalism: Obstinate or Obsolete? A Reappraisal in the Light of the New Dynamism of the EC‟, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 20: 1 (1991), pp. 1-22 and Wayne Sandholtz, John Zysman, „1992: Recasting the European Bargain‟, World Politics, 42: 1 (1989), pp. 95esp. p. 96 66 of creating a frontier-free area leaves the impression that the Commission is a champion of liberalisation and decreased importance of borders. Importantly, this is an impression, which in the vast majority of cases, the Commission discourses reinforce themselves. They achieve this by using a language that puts the emphasis on inclusiveness and mobility. However, this is rarely (if ever) the whole story. Often, for different reasons, which I explore in this study, the Commission discourses contribute to the construction and reconstruction of internal and external borders as well. Therefore, it will be of interest to examine the role it has played in the configuration of borders in the policy areas under consideration in this study, which were invigorated after the second half of the 1980s.
This active role of the Commission is coupled with another important development under the SEA, which constitutes the third reason why I think this period is a good starting point for my investigation. This Treaty increased the powers of the supranational institutions of the EC (the Commission and the Parliament). As far as the Commission is concerned, there was an increase in the issues covered by qualified majority voting (QMV). As Tranholm-Mikkelsen has argued, this demonstrates a change in the institutional balance of power in the EU: “The Commission has been able to exploit the publicity surrounding the 1992 project and has obtained some leverage in its dealing with the Council.” 173 These increased powers of the Commission are important in light of the focus of the study because they imply that it has strengthened its ability to successfully sway the decision-making process in the EU. Hence, a focus on the period after the adoption of the SEA is beneficial in terms of the increased ability of the Commission to act independently (at least in theory).
This leads to the second major issue that I have to address in this section: what are the reasons for choosing to focus the study exactly on these four policy areas that I have concentrated on? Although ultimately, every decision of that sort is at least partially arbitrary, overall, my major aim in deciding which policies are going to be included was to attain a good balance and comprehensive coverage in analysing the two key terms of the study, the European Commission and borders. The four policy areas conform to these goals for two main reasons. Firstly, the policy areas that I examine in 173 Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, „Neo-Functionalism: Obstinate or Obsolete? A Reappraisal in the Light of the New Dynamism of the EC‟, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 20: 1 (1991), pp. 1-22, p.
12 67 the empirical part allow me to simultaneously attain balanced and comprehensive information for both the European Commission contribution in the construction of EU borders and to cover the configuration of multiple borders. I have already dealt with aspects of the issue of case studies selection in previous sections of the study. As I explained in detail in section 2.3.2., one of the advantages of this selection of case studies is that it spans the pillar structure of the EU. As I showed, the Commission has different prerogatives and powers under the various pillars. Hence, an examination of the configuration of borders in the Commission discourse in the four policies will allow analysis of existing differences and similarities in the trends in these bordering articulations.
This pillar structure of the EU is very important from a methodological point of view in relation to the decision to examine border controls and free movement of people as two separate policy areas in two different chapters. As the discussion in Chapters Three and Four shows, in essence the subject matter of these two policy areas is the same, dealing with matters of free movement of individuals. However, as the overviews of the development of each of these policies show, the particular issues they are dealing with evolved in radically different ways. While from its inception free movement of people was incorporated into the EEC, cooperation on border controls-related questions developed much later and started off outside Community cooperation efforts. Therefore, the Commission has had differing powers and prerogatives in the two areas. This makes it interesting to investigate whether there are significant differences in the ways its discourse in each of the fields configures borders and if yes, how exactly they are articulated. Another reason for examining these issues in separate chapters is that the types of borders they configure are different. While border controls relate predominantly to territorial borders, free movement of people is linked with the configuration of different type of borders, functional borders. In that respect, the overall selection of the four case studies provides examples of the configuration of all the three main types of borders and also looks into how developments in the EU affect the configuration of borders through its relationships with its external partners. As some of these external partners are in Europe, this has repercussion on the configuration of European borders as well.
68 The second major reason why these four areas are a good mix for examining the configuration of borders is the understanding of the term “border” I employ in this study. As I argued in section2.3.1. for me borders are social constructs that are created by human interactions. Therefore, even (or perhaps most of all) one of the most important dividers in politics, the borders between states, are a result of countless practices of inclusion and exclusion, some of which are not always thoroughly examined. As scholars such as Agnew 174 and Taylor175 have argued, the state can be viewed as a container that regulates (and therefore constructs borders) along all the major types of human relations (social, economical, cultural). Thus, one should expect that the process of integration would affect all these types of relations and importantly, that bordering practices will be influenced as well. The review of the literature on EU borders shows that there has been an important scholarly discussion about European values, which is related to at least some of the above human relations. Nevertheless, the studies that I reviewed do not explicitly engage with the configuration of borders for all of these relations. The selection of case studies allows me to overcome this weakness of the existing research. Namely, I can engage not only with the issues that are usually associated with borders (which are also very important) but also with issue areas that are constitutive to the normalisation of the bordering practices but which are not usually widely scrutinised. I achieve this by looking at both policy areas that are unequivocally border-related (ENP and border controls) as well as fields, where borders are not directly implicated (social policy, free movement of people). Thus, with the issues that I discussed in this section, I have narrowed down the focus of the research significantly.
However, as a next step, I have to address the question of selection of the primary material that is going to be included.
2.4.2. Data Collection In order to be able to analyse how Commission discourses configure EU borders and to critically engage with these configurations, I need to perform two consecutive steps. Firstly, I need to reconstruct the discourse on EU borders in each policy area;
174 John Agnew, „The Territorial Trap: the Geographical Assumptions of International Relations Theory‟, Review of International Political Economy, 1: 1 (1994), pp. 53-80 175 Peter Taylor, „The State as Container: Territoriality in the Modern World System‟, Progress in Human Geography, 18: 2 (1994), pp. 151-162 69 secondly, I have to advance a critical reading of these discourses. The account how I will carry out the second step is presented in the last section of this part. Below I outline how I will perform the first step.