Schengen as a political territory: Sources of differentiation in the EU’s ‘free movement of persons’ from 1985

Differentiated European integration
By Cristina Blanco Sío-López

This article analyses the historical dimensions of differentiation as part of the inter-institutional discussions to build the EU’s free movement of persons (FMP). In this sense, it particularly highlights the critical role of the European Parliament (EP) within this remit from the Schengen Area’s inception in 1985 to 2015, going through the most impactful post-Cold War critical junctures in the European integration process. Taking into account the salience of “vertical” differentiation for this case-study, this article also addresses the diachronic consequences of a series of game-changing variations in the centralisation of power among different interconnected policy sectors.

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