To What Extent Have EU Member States Lost the Power to Control Their Borders – Research Paper Example
EU Control over Its Borders EU Control over Its Borders Introduction The European Union is a 28 member union with Croatia as the newest member. The member nations enjoy economic ties. Member states include Poland, UK, Sweden, Spain Greece, and France among others. The internal border controls within the EU were abolished to allow free trade (European commission: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/index_en.htm). This has impacted differently to EU member countries. This paper seeks to find out the extent that the European member countries have lost power to control their powers. This has posed a challenge to immigration and resulted in mass inflows into these nations. Consequently, it has presented a major strain on public services, society, environment and the quality of life (www.migrationwatchuk.org).
Control of EU borders
Based on reports especially from the BBC, there has been great inflow of migrants from newer members of European Union from the East. The reports note that the number of individuals from Eastern Europe but born in the United Kingdom rose to 1 million. It is also noted that the number of EU employees in UK is estimated to be three or four times the number of Britons working elsewhere in the European Union. This is by the fact that existing wage rates are higher in Britain in comparison to other EU countries and has been the reason for declining employment rates in Britain. (Economic migration within the EU (www.migrationwatchuk.org).
According to (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-08/an-asylum-seeker-new-government/4944590), one of the former head of Australia’s Department of immigration raised an alarm that the new Australian government must hold talks with its neighbors in the region over increased asylum seekers. He proposes that the government emphasize control over its borders “in the way other European nations have lost control over their borders”.
Nigel Farage, leader of United Kingdom Independence Party noted in the party conference that UK is no longer fit to be handed to the children and grandchildren and more and more immigrants are continually dominating in the polls. This presents the political viewpoint that failure of Britain to assert to her boundaries has resulted in mass immigrant inflows. Farage terms open door immigration as irresponsible and against interests of the natives. He attributes doubling of youth unemployment and shrinking of time wage as a result of this. (www.westerndailypress.co.uk).
Andreas P and Snyder T. (2000) outlines various state efforts to curb transnational movement of individuals across the “wall around the West” they argue that global reforms and emergence of the trade liberation had led to reduction and military essence of these borders. They argue that the world today is inclined on market expansions contrary to territorial conquest as before. This aspect of de-bordering has however presented challenges of ‘trespassers’.
The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting after the US 11 September 2001 attacks put several security measures in place to fight terrorism-related activities. They included cooperation with intelligent agents, judicial cooperation, tightening border controls and step up of surveillance activities (under article 2(3) Schengen Implementing Agreement 1990). Border controls included emphasize checks on identity documents, more measures of visa issuance and a network for information interchange regarding visas. A more systematic entry of people was also adopted. These border controls as noted by Carr (2006) notes affected more the forced immigrants who include foreign students and tourists. (EU Databases and the Surveillance of Irregular Migrants: http://iss.sagepub.com/content/22/1/71.short)
Developments in IT have played a vital role in control of EU borders. In addition to border immigration policy, EU nations are also developing networked databases to help monitor irregular immigrations. These surveillance presents vital data in transnational movements, deporting apprehended immigrants and discouraging the stay of irregular immigrants. These databases are Eurodac database, the Schengen Information system and Visa information system. (EU Databases and the Surveillance of Irregular Migrants: http://iss.sagepub.com/content/22/1/71.short)
The Schengen agreement signatories eradicated all the internal borders for a single external border. This introduced changes in visa issuance, and other border controls. To cater for security and combat organized crime, cooperation with judicial institutions and security agencies were increased. Schengen Information system was also established. The entry conditions were also harmonized. The Schengen Agreement was incorporated into EU framework during the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997).
To enable this integration, the Council, by its decision 1999/307/EC, incorporated Schengen Secretariat into the council’s General Secretariat inclusive of the Schengen’s Secretariat staff. Additionally, Schengen’s laws have been also been developed, such as, replacement of various articles of Schengen Convention by EU legislations (The Schengen area and cooperation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/justice_freedom_security/free_movement_of_persons_asylum_immigration/l33020_en.htm)
The EU has done significantly much in regulating their borders by developing legislations to control visa issuance of visa, use of technologically sophisticated databases and cooperation with legal and security agencies to curb crime. This helps regulate costs arising from increased immigrants such as increased insecurity, bigger budgets on public services and unemployment rates.
European commission: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/border-crossing/index_en.htm).
What is the problem: http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/what-is-the-problem)
Economic migration within the EU: http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/4.9
ABC Net: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-08/an-asylum-seeker-new-government/4944590
Western Daily Press: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Nigel-Farage-tells-Ukip-conference-Torquay-UK/story-20729734-detail/story.html
EU Databases and the Surveillance of Irregular Migrants: http://iss.sagepub.com/content/22/1/71.short)
Andreas P. and Snyder T, 2000. The Wall Around the West: State Borders and Immigration Controls in North America and Europe: Rowman & Littlefield
The Schengen area and cooperation: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/justice_freedom_security/free_movement_of_persons_asylum_immigration/l33020_en.htm)