«A thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of ...»
In this method, the first reading presents the discourse under scrutiny in the most faithful way and based on this it gives it the most favourable interpretation possible. 185 Taking the position of the author and representing what the intention of the text is achieves this. In that respect the first reading mimics the discourse in question. The second reading, however, places the discourse within a wider context and shows how the meaning produced by the specific discourse is interrelated (is affected by and affects) other discourses. Therefore, the meaning produced by a particular discourse is contingent upon other discourses,186 which need to be taken into account as well. Thus, in the second reading I am not looking at the authoritative voice in the text but rather try to identify the breaks in the argument, the spots in which the assumptions made within the text are problematic.
So, in all the policy areas that I have examined, my initial aim was to reconstruct at face value how the relevant Commission documents configure EU borders. In the empirical chapters this is done simultaneously with the process of reconstruction of Commission discourse in each policy area, which was explained in the previous part. In the second reading, however, the aim is to demonstrate that when the wider framework is taken into account there are border-producing articulations in these discourses, which 185 David Howarth, Discourse (Buckingham: Open University Press, 2000), p. 45 186 Richard Ashley, „Untying the Sovereign State: a Double reading of the Anarchy Problematique‟, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 17: 2 (1988), pp. 227-262, pp. 231-233 75 usually are not given the necessary attention. There are two main ways in which this can be revealed. Firstly, such a situation can be the result of contradictions and inconsistencies between aspects of different policies of a particular institution.
Therefore, it can be expected that these contradictions can be identified within the Commission articulations in the different policy areas. For example, some of the arguments used by the Commission in its discourse on Enlargement can be read as constructing the EU‟s border in the context of the ENP. Secondly, an important indicator of the inconsistencies of the discourses consists of its silences, absences.
These are issues that are not present in the discourse although one may reasonably expect them to be covered by it.187 These absences, however, are of paramount importance because their mere existence points to a de facto inconsistency of the discourse. For example, in a discourse framed as free movement of workers one would not be content to see measures aimed at opening up borders to refer only to Union citizens. In practice the silence on the free movement of third country nationals‟ workers of such a discourse does create a border between these two categories of people. This points to a rupture in the discourse itself because it obstructs the achievement of its declared aims.
In order to ensure the smooth performing of the technique as well as the compatibility of the findings it is useful to develop a list of questions for reading the documents. For the first reading, the analysis is conducted through posing the following
1. What aims does the Commission have in the given policy area?
2. How are these aims justified? What is the rationale behind them?
3. How are these aims going to be achieved?
4. How do these actions configure EU internal/ external borders?
For the second reading, I am looking for:
1. Are there any inconsistencies and contradictions in the Commission discourse?
2. Are there any silences within the current discourse, which make the achievement of the stated aims problematic?
187 Jean Carabine, „Unmarried Mothehood 1830-1990: a Genealogical Analysis‟ in Margaret Wetherell, Stephanie Taylor, Simeon Yates (eds), Discourse as Data – a Guide for Analysis (London: Sage, 2001), pp. 267-310, p. 285 76
3. Do these breaks in the discourse contribute to the configuration of the EU internal/ external borders?
Thus, the double-reading technique allows me to address one of the core questions of this research by highlighting the way in which ambiguous configurations of borders have been articulated in the discourses of the European Commission. It shows that on the surface these discourses tend to emphasise only the transcendence of borders as a result of the process of European integration. The account presented with the second reading helps to restore the balance by pointing to the border-producing configurations in the discourse of the Commission.
This analysis also enables me to demonstrate how the Commission contributes to the construction and reconstruction of EU‟s borders. It allows me to elaborate on what I see as the reasons for these configurations, thus signaling the main constraints for decreasing the importance of internal EU borders as well as the main ways in which its external borders are enunciated under a process of integration. Ultimately, this dissection allows me to point out not only the main ways through which the European Commission creates and recreates borders in/ of the EU but also to show any distinct features of this process in each of the policy areas examined.
2.5. Summary In this chapter I developed the framework for the analysis in the empirical part of the research. I started with a review of the relevant academic debates on EU borders, Border Studies and the role of the European Commission in the integration process.
There are two major shortcoming of the current research on EU borders. Firstly, it tends to focus on one particular aspect of border developments (the decreasing significance of borders or the emergence of borders). As I have maintained, in distinction to such an approach, I consider those two processes as occurring simultaneously. Therefore, I argue in favour of developing a way for studying them in accordance with such an understanding. I presented my view of how to achieve this in the following parts of the chapter. Inspired by the arguments of a particular approach to Border Studies, I claimed that borders are social constructions that change under the development of new inclusion/ exclusion practices and that they can be studied through examining the 77 discourses on these bordering practices. This issue is related to the second shortcoming of the existing literature as well. The overwhelming majority of academic research is examining issues related to Enlargement, the external borders of the EU more generally or European values. I, however, noted that bordering practices are also taking place in other spheres of human relations (i.e. social, cultural and so forth). Thus, it is of paramount importance to also examine the discourses of inclusion and exclusion in EU policy areas that are not traditionally associated with borders. Also, inspired by the debates on European integration, I identified the European Commission as the institution that is best suited to concentrate on in this research. I explained that due to the institutional structure of the EU and its self-interest, the Commission could reasonably be expected to promote further integration, thus contributing to the decreased salience of internal borders and the construction of external EU borders. I also provided my argumentation why I think the Commission can successfully sway the decision-making process in the EU despite the arguments of some scholars against such ability. This enabled me to outline the main mechanisms and the scope of Commission ability to influence the configuration of EU borders.
The addressing of all of these issues allowed me to engage with the tools for performing my analysis. I will study Commission documents in four EU policy areas (border controls, free movement of people, ENP, social policy) in the period after the adoption of the SEA. In order to expose the ambiguous configurations of borders by Commission discourse, I will employ the double-reading technique, which allows to critically interrogate texts and to analyse the inconsistencies and silences in them. The analysis is structured along two main lines. On the one hand, I investigate whether Commission discourses contribute to the decreased salience of borders or promote the construction and reconstruction of EU external and internal borders. On the other hand, I interrogate if these configurations refer to territorial, functional or identity borders. In the following chapters I perform these analyses in practice, starting with the issue of border controls.
3.1. Introduction As we have seen in section 2.2.1., there is one border-related issue that has received overwhelming attention – the Schengen Treaty, its developments and effects on the borders of the member states and of the EU. The focal point of the cooperation under Schengen is the facilitation and eventually the lifting of internal border controls between the participating countries. As such, in this policy area, it is above all territorial (physical) borders that are being configured. As was shown, currently the problem that attracts significant attention is the argument of many of these studies that as a result of Schengen, a new border, very often characterised as difficult to penetrate, has arisen on the edges of the Union. This is often referred to as the development of “fortress Europe”. Given the focus of this research, my attention is centred on the role of the European Commission in the process of erecting EU‟s external borders. As far as this problem is concerned, my central argument is that in accordance with the expectations of Neo-functionalists, the discourse of the Commission has facilitated the construction of “fortress Europe”. This is a result of the Commission undertakings on border controls, which have not only contributed to the construction of a common space in the EU but also to the emergence of salient external edges of the Union. This comes about as a result of Commission articulations that in effect promote the establishment of the particular external borders of the EU we have today. The idea of “fortress Europe” also points to the conclusion that despite the efforts towards the abolition of internal border controls in the Union, the existing regime for free movement of people under Schengen has created new categories of persons and for some of them, there are still physical obstacles for their movement across the borders of Schengen-participating states. Therefore, my second core claim is that cooperation under Schengen has contributed to the reconstruction of internal borders in the EU. Given the evolution of cooperation in this area, the Commission cannot be regarded as having played a pivotal role in this 79 reconstruction. Instead, it is rather a result of the limited powers of the Commission to overcome the reservations of the member states, which has lead to a reproduction in its discourse of articulations that give rise to internal borders in the Union. In this chapter, I examine in detail the discourse of the European Commission on border controls, so that I substantiate these claims.
In order to do this, the chapter is divided into three main sections. The first one aims to provide a general background of the development of Commission discourse in the field of border controls. The second one looks in detail into the articulations, which clearly configure borders. On the one hand those that contribute to the diminished importance of borders between the EC/EU member states and on the other hand, those that lead to the establishment of new borders at the external edges of the Union. The third section investigates the inconsistencies and silences in Commission discourse on border controls that reconstruct internal borders in the EU rather than lead to their decreased salience.
3.2. An Outline of the Development of Cooperation under Schengen and Commission Discourse on it I start my investigation into the way in which Commission discourse on border controls configures borders by briefly outlining the major developments in this issue area.
The matters it deals with are central to a field of fundamental concern for the European integration project – the freedom of movement, which has its origins in the Founding Treaties and their subsequent amendments. Nevertheless, border controls itself was not an area included in the cooperation under the Treaty of Rome. This was the case because the clause concerning the freedom of movement of people in 1957 talked only about the freedom of movement of workers and was not encompassing other categories of people, such as pensioners or students.1 Thus, in the first decades of European integration, the free movement of people has been interpreted in a narrow way. As a result, until the mid-1980s there was no framework under which to develop cooperation on border controls. This issue became prominent on the agenda only with the signing of the Schengen Agreement in 1 Article 48, esp. point 1, of the Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community 80
1985. Its aim was to abolish formalities at the borders of the participating member states.
As such, it could contribute towards the achievement of the SEA aim of creating an internal market through establishing in practice the conditions allowing the free circulation of the factors of production, including people. Despite this clear link between the two areas, their regulation was completely different. While the SEA was within the EC, for a long period the cooperation on issues related to border controls was advanced through intergovernmental cooperation of some of the EC member states under Schengen. This has had important repercussions for the powers the European Commission has had in this field.
In this section I aim to briefly outline the major turning points in the evolution of cooperation on border controls, to point out the changes that have occurred in the powers given to the Commission in this field, to identify the main articulations that contain border configurations and the categories of people constructed through the discourse on border controls.