The abolition of border controls in the Schengen area is considered as a key area of European integration. This area of integration is in a dismal state. Member states reintroduced controls, first, as response to the migration crisis in 2015 and subsequently to the Covid-19 pandemic. Neither of the two grand theories of European integration – intergovernmentalism and neofunctionalism – can adequately explain the current state of the Schengen area. This article enquires into recent case law on border controls before the Court of Justice of the EU. It seeks to show that judicial disputes on border controls in the Schengen area result in a politicization of the reasons for abolishing border controls and that this shift occurs by legal incrementalism, i.e. by linking different grand narratives about the nature of internal borders in the EU to technical legal norms governing, inter alia, time limits.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!