To what extent the current difficulties of Europe in managing the migratory crisis reveal the limits of the 'spirit of Schengen' in the advancement of the European construction?

Research Paper by Jean Laussucq Dhiriart



The ‘spirit of Schengen’ is the mixture of two axes of European integration: governmental cooperation and the association of a small number of states with the purpose of progressively rallying, by the example of their successes, other hesitating states, remained on the fringes. Each of these principles is paradoxically at the basis of the European construction. The failure of this process was not obvious thirty years ago but was revealed by the migratory pressure. The integration of the Agreement of Schengen within the European Union law is the subsequent source of the present difficulties: an incomplete integration froze the process before it came to quite a workable legal instrument. To ensure a positive evolution of the situation, a deep change in the political and legal treatment of the freedom of movement is needed. In many of its aspects, the Schengen case is a lesson, regarding other complex integration processes the European institutions would wish to launch during the next few years.