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«A thesis submitted to the Department of Political Science and International Studies of the University of Birmingham for the degree of Doctor of ...»

-- [ Page 48 ] --

53 Romano Prodi, A Wider Europe – a Proximity Policy as the Key to Stability, SPEECH/02/619, 05.12.2002, p. 3 (emphasis added) 54 Jose Manuel Barroso, Leading by Example: Croatia’s Road to EU Membership, SPEECH/06/96, 16.02.2006, p. 2 55 Olli Rehn, Bosnia and Herzegovina: Moving Closer to Europe, SPEECH/05/732, 25.11.2005, p. 2 56 See for example the Presidency Conclusions of the Thessaloniki European Council, June 2003, chapter V, available at http://europa.eu.int/constitution/futurum/documents/other/oth200603_en.pdf, accessed on 21.09.2006, the Presidency conclusions of the European Councils in June and December 2004, available respectively at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cmsUpload/81742.pdf and http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/83201.pdf, both accessed on 02.10.2006, the Thessaloniki Agenda for the Western Balkans: Moving towards European Integration, available at http://www.stabilitypact.org/reg-conf/030621-thessaloniki/agenda.doc, accessed 02.10.2006 247 The different statuses indicate that at present, in distinction to the candidate states on the Balkans, the countries encompassed in the ENP are not thought of as possible full members of the EU. Hence, the Neighbourhood policy at present marks the border between the countries that have membership prospects and those that do not, thus constructing a new territorial border at the edges of the EU. This border, however, does not have only symbolical meaning. In fact belonging to the ENP or the Enlargement policy framework bears significant practical consequences not only in terms of the final objectives of the EUpartner country relationship, but also in terms of what kinds of funds are available, specific conditions for participation (or access altogether) in certain policies and programmes of the EU, the prospective regime for the freedoms of movement at the moment or in short-term perspective. All of these issues are related to the question of the construction of borders through the Commission discourse because at present some of the measures envisaged for the candidate countries are not open to the Neighbourhood ones. The lack of articulations that envisage the establishment of a regime that allows for easy access of the Neighbourhood countries into the EU can be read as a silence of the Commission ENP discourse that hampers the establishment of a common space between the partners.

Therefore, instead it constructs territorial borders.

Thus, contrary to the policy‟s stated aims, the Commission articulations on the ENP contribute to the construction of new dividing lines through establishing both territorial and identity divisions at the outer edges of the EU. However, these have a bearing on European borders as well. This is an issue that is paramount in an external policy area for the EU and therefore, below I examine how the Commission ENP discourse configures European borders.

6.5. The Construction of European Borders through the Commission ENP Discourse As I pointed out in previous sections of the chapter, one of the major reasons why the Commission discourse on the ENP on the surface appears to be contributing to the decreased significance of borders is because its stated aim is “to avoid drawing new 248 dividing lines in Europe”.57 Yet, as I argued above, many of the articulations of this Commission discourse contribute to the erection of important borders at the edges of the EU, both in terms of identity and territory. However, to the extent that at least some of these articulations relate to the issue of regulating divisions in Eastern Europe, they are directly involved in configuring borders on the continent. Furthermore, as a result of the erection of a visible external EU border, the constructed European border, contrary to the officially stated aims, is also salient and important. Hence, what is happening is a reconstruction of European borders, which is taking place for both territorial and identity boundaries.

6.5.1. Commission ENP discourse as reconstructing European identity borders The first way in which the Commission ENP discourse can be regarded as contributing to the reconstruction of European borders is through a contradiction in its articulations. The aim of the ENP is to avoid drawing new dividing lines on the continent.

However, as we saw in the previous section, some of the articulations do not effectively contribute to achieving it. Instead, they single out the Neighbourhood as a place that poses danger, thus creating juxtaposition between the EU and its outside. It results in establishing a mindset in which there is a rigid distinction between the inside and the outside and hence constructs salient borders. This contributes to the reconstruction of European borders because there already is a strong trend of equating the EU and Europe. Hence, there is a danger that even if something is geographically positioned in Europe, this may be lost due to the growing perception that since it is not in the EU, it also is not European.

In that respect some Commission articulations not only are not inclusive but on the contrary, further this trend. Although under Article 49 of the Treaty of the EU Eastern European Neighbours satisfy the geographical criteria for membership in the Union, they are still included in the same policy framework as the Southern Mediterranean states. This may indicate that the former, just as the latter should not be considered “European”. For example, according to the “Wider Europe” document prepared jointly by Christopher 57 European Commission, Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: a New Framework for Relations with Our Eastern and Southern Neighbours, COM (2003) 104 final, 11.03.2003, p. 4 (emphasis in the original) 249 Patten and Javier Solana, geographically the EU‟s neighbours include: “… three main regional groupings: the Mediterranean …; the Western Balkans …; and Russia and the other eastern neighbours …” 58 As was already shown, the countries from the other two groups, besides the Western Balkans, do not have any clear prospects for future membership. What is more, the countries from the Southern Mediterranean do not qualify for EU membership according to Article 49 of the Treaty of the EU. 59 Hence, the inclusion of the “eastern neighbours” in the same policy framework as the Southern Mediterranean states may indicate that the former, just as the latter should not be considered “European”.





In this context the absence of the word “European” from “Russia and the other eastern neighbours” acquires new meaning. It implies that the Eastern neighbours do not have the prospect for EU membership, because they, just as the Southern Mediterranean states are not European.

The advancement of such understandings contributes to the reconstruction of European identity borders by establishing a particular meaning of what it is to be European.

You have to comply with the various criteria and practices articulated by the Commission and other EU institutions, such as the Copenhagen criteria or the satisfaction of the Action Plans under the ENP. Also, and related to this, such understandings suggest particular readings of where Europe is. As I said above, increasingly Europe is perceived as being equivalent to the EU. Hence, anything that is not in the EU geographically is not in Europe as well. This last point is also related to the reconstruction of European territorial borders.

6.5.2. Reconstruction of European territorial borders In practice the reconstruction of European territorial borders can be traced in the concrete policies undertaken under the ENP. These undertakings are the second way in 58 Document prepared jointly by Chris Patten and Javier Solana, Wider Europe, available at http://ec.europa.eu/world/enp/pdf/_0130163334_001_en.pdf, accessed on 18.08.2006 59 For example a Communication from the Commission stipulates: “In some cases the issue of prospective membership has already been resolved. Accession has been ruled out, for example, for the non-European Mediterranean partners.” See European Commission, Wider Europe - Neighbourhood: a New Framework for Relations with Our Eastern and Southern Neighbours, COM (2003) 104 final, 11.03.2003, p. 5. An in-depth study of how the Mediterranean as a “region” is integrated in EU policy discourses and practices is provided in Michelle Pace, The Politics of Regional Identity – Meddling with the Mediterranean (London: Routledge, 2006).

250 which contradictions within the Commission stated aims on the ENP are articulated. This is the case because measures under the ENP are simultaneously inextricably related to recent developments in the common EU immigration policy. As I showed in Chapter Three, in this field the Commission has failed to advance a position on the external EU borders, which is radically different from that of the Council and which in turn has facilitated the emergence of the so-called “fortress Europe”. This, however, clashes with the need to have a more inclusive regime for the nighbouring countries under the ENP. This creates a tension with regards to the movement of people at the common EU-partner country borders.60 For example, the Hague Programme in the section on the Partnership for European Renewal in the Field of Freedom, Security and Justice reads: “A common immigration policy cannot confine itself to admission and return policies: successful management of migration flows must become an integral element and comprise a serious investment in countries”. 61 relations with third The Communication also envisages specific recommendations for negotiating directives on visa facilitation with third countries in the context of the EC readmission policy. 62 These articulations depict the Union‟s relations with third countries (especially the countries of origin and transition of migrant flows) as guided primarily from the aim of preventing migration flows from entering the EU.

Importantly, in continuation of a trend we saw earlier on in the chapter, the Council quickly adopted this proposal in April 2006,63 which again, can be read as an indication of concurrence of the thinking in these institutions.

Cooperation by the partner countries with EU policy will be rewarded with easing of the visa-application process for the country‟s own nationals. In tune with this is the position that: “… cooperation on the management of migration flows would need to be intensified … For most of these countries, the Commission has already programmed 60 JHA in the ENP is analysed in John Occipinti, „Justice and Home Affairs: Immigration and Policing‟ in Katja Weber, Michael Smith, Michael Baun (eds), Governing Europe’s Neighbourhood: Partners or Periphery? (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007), pp. 114-133 61 European Commission, The Hague Programme: Ten Priorities for Next Five Years The Partnership for European Renewal in the Field of Freedom, Security and Justice, COM (2005) 184 final, 10.05.2005 62 Ibid.

63 http://ec.europa.eu/prelex/detail_dossier_real.cfm?CL=en&DosId=192847#377933, accessed on 13.05.2009 251 assistance for establishing an adequate legislative framework, reinforcing their external borders and promoting institutional and administrative capacity for managing migration.” 64 This proposal was again swiftly adopted by the Council and the European Parliament 65 and in relation to the ENP these policy priorities are evident in the Action Plans the EU has concluded with Tunisia and Ukraine. 66 The latter explicitly requires the signing of a readmission agreement as a precondition for signing a visa facilitation agreement. From this it is evident that the majority of the JHA policy measures are in fact pushing towards the establishment of a visible border as a way for guaranteeing better security within the EU. This sharply contrasts with encouraging greater exchanges and flows between the EU and its Neighbourhood, which is one of the signs for achieving closer integration.

In a similar vein, the specific conditions of the Communication for facilitating the local border traffic (discussed in section 6.3. above) stipulate that the total duration of the successive visits to a member state will not exceed three months for each six-month period.

Local residents are entitled to the “L” visa for the purposes of local traffic, valid from one to five years. To obtain this visa the person needs a valid travel document; documents proving his/ her status of border resident and the existence of legitimate reasons for frequent border crossing, such as family links, social, cultural or economic motives.



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