Schengen at the crossroads between Dublin’s failure and the rising populism in the EU. Constitutional and political scenarios in the context of the current refugee crisis

Research Paper by Andrea Romano



The unprecedented increase of movements of migrants and refugees within the EU has triggered the reinstatement of internal border controls in several Schengen States. While the reinstatement of border controls is an established practice in the Schengen Borders Code, having been employed many times in the past, it has acquired a completely new scope and relevance in light of the current refugee crisis and has called into question the continued existence of a free movement zone within the EU. After outlining the connections between Schengen and the measures implemented or proposed at the EU level to address the refugee crisis, this paper will aim to illustrate the main constraints and threats facing the existence of a control-free internal borders area in the EU. We will argue that these constraints are both legal and political in nature, being represented on the one hand by the ill-functioning Dublin rules, and on the other hand by the growth of populism in the EU.