«A thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of ...»
89 Antonio Vitorino, Migratory Flows and the European Labour Market: Towards a Community Immigration Policy, SPEECH/01/334, 09.07.2001, p. 3 90 European Commission, Towards a Single Market for Supplementary Pensions, COM (1999) 134 final, 11.05.1999, p. 9 150 GDP.”91 In these conditions the Commission has on several occasions identified the demographic situation as one of the challenges the EU is currently facing.92 As I pointed out in Chapter Two, the main way through which the external EU border is constructed is through articulating some kind of danger. Hence, in the case of free movement of people, the external border of the Union is created as a result of the need to ensure the persistence of favourable economic and demographic conditions within the EU, which are currently under threat. As the above articulations in the Commission discourse indicate, one of the ways for achieving this is through legal migration. This need contributes to the emergence of the external borders of the EU through providing rationales for action at the level of the Union. In doing this, one of the effects is to encourage a perception of the EU as an entity. It is precisely this understanding that brings the external borders into being.
This perception of the EU as an entity is articulated through putting the emphasis on the commonality of the situation of the member states. Also it downplays any differences that may exist between them. For example, although the demographic data referred to above shows that some member states will be worse affected than others, it nevertheless still makes clear that these statistics will affect the whole of the EU in much the same way.
As the former Commission Vice-President and Commissioner responsible for Justice,
Freedom and Security Franco Frattini declared the current demographic trends in the EU:
“… will undoubtedly affect some Member States more than others. Nevertheless, it is a common trend.”93 As the studies of O‟Hagan94 and Campbell95 that I referred to in Chapter 91 Ibid. For similar account see also European Commission, Supplementary Pensions in the Single Market – a Green Paper, COM (97) 283 final, 10.06.1997, p. 1 92 For documents referring to aging population as a challenge see Vladimir Špidla, Opening Address for the Seminar ‘Labour Mobility in the EU and China: Trends and Challenges Ahead’, SPEECH/06/681, 13.11.2006, p. 3; Franco Frattini, The Future of EU Migration and Integration Policy, SPEECH/07/98, 23.02.2007, p. 2; Franco Frattini, Enhanced Mobility, Vigorous Integration Strategy and Zero Tolerance on Illegal Employment: a Dynamic Approach to European Integration Policies, SPEECH/07/526, 13.09.2007, p.
2; European Commission, Towards a Single Market for Supplementary Pensions, COM (1999) 134 final, 11.05.1999, p. 9 93 Franco Frattini, The Green Paper on an EU Approach to Managing Economic Migration, SPEECH/05/364, 20.06.2005, p. 2 (emphasis added). See also Franco Frattini, Legal Migration and the Follow-up to the Green Paper and on the Fight against Illegal Immigration, SPEECH/05/666, 07.11.2005, p. 2; Franco Frattini, Enhanced Mobility, Vigorous Integration Strategy and Zero Tolerance on Illegal Employment: a Dynamic Approach to European Integration Policies, SPEECH/07/526, 13.09.2007, p. 2 151 Two explain, such articulations of threat contribute to the internal cohesion of a community, while at the same time they differentiate it from the rest of the world. Hence, this provides a justification for action at the Union level.
After the threat has been articulated in this way, it is much easier to successfully argue for common European action: “Europe is tackling these challenges … working together to pre-empt the challenges posed by an aging population in Europe …”96 This trend can be illustrated further with a number of other articulations. According to Commission officials: “We need a European approach, which can help the EU address unwanted phenomena …, while ensuring that Europe can welcome the migrants its economy needs and its society is capable and willing to welcome.” 97 Or as Commission President Barroso declared: “Immigration is one facet of globalization which demands a European rather than a national response to be effective.”98 According to Commission officials, a common approach is necessary because: “Working together makes the EU stronger not just when dealing with problems such as illegal migration and border management, but also in seizing the opportunities which migrants embody. Common action at EU level also gives Member States a stronger voice on the international stage …” 99 This is significant because it is exactly the efforts towards a European approach on the matter that eventually bring the tangible external borders of the EU into existence.
Furthermore, it allows references to “Europe” in Commission discourse. For example, Commissioner Frattini declared: “I am convinced that Europe will need more immigration, since labour and skills shortages are already noticeable in a number of sectors 94 Jacinta O'Hagan, Conceptualizing the West in International Relations – from Spengler to Said (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002) 95 David Campbell, Writing Security – United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (2nd ed.) (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998) 96 Jose Manuel Barroso, Integration through Education in 21st Century Europe, SPEECH/07/628, 16.10.2007, p. 2.
97 Franco Frattini, Shaping Migration Patterns, SPEECH/07/556, 20.09.2007, p. 2 98 Jose Manuel Barroso, Opening Remarks of President Barroso – Legal Immigration, SPEECH/07/650, 23.10.2007, p. 2 99 Franco Frattini, Enhanced Mobility, Vigorous Integration Strategy and Zero Tolerance on Illegal Employment: a Dynamic Approach to European Integration Policies, SPEECH/07/526, 13.09.2007, p. 3 (emphasis added) 152
and they will tend to increase” 100 and Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner argued immigration:
“will help us make the transition to a new economic situation, and maintain a certain level of growth. To maintain their dynamism countries need human capacity. For Europe, with its falling, aging population that will inevitably mean attracting brains and labour from
outside.”101 Such a position is in tune with undertakings in the developed world, where:
“immigration has become a structural necessity.”102 However, it is important because it implies Europe‟s existence as something different and identifiable from the rest of the world, thus bringing into existence its external borders.
Thus, analysis of Commission discourse shows that the main ways through which the external border of the EU in the field of free movement of people is constructed are the articulations on the current demographic trends in the Union and the threat of aging of its population. Building on these, Commission discourse has argued in favour of common undertakings at EU level to tackle the current problems. An analysis of Commission discourse shows the following major tools that bring the external borders of the EU into being. Firstly, it has promoted the need for common action at EU level in the field of legal migration. Secondly, and related to that, Commission articulations on legal migration construct a particular vision of the Union and its “Others”. Thirdly, implementing the agreed upon common action at EU level has allowed the Commission to advance concrete measures on issues related to free movement of people in response to the threats posed by current demographic trends in the EU. All of these contribute to the construction of EU‟s external borders. However, the first two of these responses are more closely related to the 100 Franco Frattini, The Green Paper on an EU Approach to Managing Economic Migration, SPEECH/05/364, 20.06.2005, p. 2 (emphasis added). The same position is articulated in other Commission documents as well. See for example, Franco Frattini, Legal Migration and the Follow-up to the Green Paper and on the Fight against Illegal Immigration, SPEECH/05/666, 07.11.2005, p. 2; Franco Frattini, The Future of EU Migration and Integration Policy, SPEECH/07/98, 23.02.2007, p. 2; Franco Frattini, Shaping Migration Patterns, SPEECH/07/556, 20.09.2007, p. 2; Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Migration, External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy, SPEECH/06/30, 24.01.2006, p. 2 101 Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Migration, External Relations and the European Neighbourhood Policy, SPEECH/06/30, 24.01.2006, p. 2 102 Dietrich Thränhardt, Robert Miles, „Introduction: European Integration, Migration and Processes of Inclusion and Exclusion‟ in Dietrich Thränhardt, Robert Miles (eds), Migration and European Integration – the Dynamics of Inclusion and Exclusion (London: Pinter, 1995), pp. 1-12, p. 1. For similar argument see also Stephen Castels, Mark Miller, The Age of Migration (3rd ed.) (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p.
4.4.2. The construction of the external EU border through the promotion of a common identity As I argued above, the first main line contributing to the construction of the Union‟s external border articulated in Commission discourse is the need for common action at EU level on legal migration as a response to the challenge of aging populations in the EU. Its premise is the same as the rationales articulated in a number of other policy areas (such as social policy and border controls) - “Free movement of people … is meaningless without a unified labour market. A Europe without internal borders is impossible without common action at those borders.”103 As with the discourse in the fields examined in Chapters Five and Three, such articulations contribute to the emergence of a new border – the external edge of the EU. This is the case because they enunciate a meaning for the entity EU.
Generally, as the articulations on the demographic trends presented above demonstrate this is articulated through downplaying any differences that may exist between the member states. Instead, Commission discourse emphasises the commonalities through references to the “European Union” and “Europe”, thus encouraging a perception of the EU as a unified whole. As with the ENP and social policy and in distinction to border controls, the above articulation does not refer explicitly to the external border of the EU.104 Instead, it is 103 Antonio Vitorino, Migration as a Resource to be Managed for the Mutual Benefit of Sending and Receiving Countries, SPEECH/03/417, 18.09.2003, p. 3 104 As I pointed out earlier in this chapter, the issues of free movement of people and border controls are closely related. They have been separated in this research for analytical purposes. Nevertheless, in many Commission documents used in my analysis of its discourse of free movement of people, there are explicit references to the “external borders of the EU”. These in the overwhelming majority of cases appear in relation to illegal immigration, which as a branch of immigration is related to the issue of free movement of people.
However, usually the issue is how to deal with this problem and the measures suggested are more closely related with border controls. This is why in my analysis in this chapter I do not regard any such references to the EU “external border” that may appear as relevant to free movement of people and instead consider them relevant to the analysis for the Chapter on Border Controls.
154 constructed indirectly, as a by-product of the decreased significance of borders within the Union through the establishment of a regime for free movement of people. It is the internal de-bordering that prompts cooperation at EU-level. Commission officials argue that this is because: “… decisions to admit third country nationals are no longer the exclusive remit of each Member State. Such decisions affect other Member States and the EU labour market as a whole … This „political difference‟ has encouraged Member States to review their national policies and to discuss a common way to proceed.”105 This quotation is also interesting because it shows the Commission employing Neo-functionalist logic – the previous decisions on integration have “locked up” the member states‟ independence, so that now any meaningful action will necessitate joint efforts, which will lead to further integration.