Based on selected lectures of the annual conference 2021 of Arbeitskreis Europäische Integration (AEI), the special issue of integration 03/22 deals with the topic of internal security in the European Union (EU).
The free-content-article addresses the growing protection of public health by the EU: It explains integration progress in EU health policy regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and preceding crises through neofunctionalism. Other articles analyse the policy field of internal security in the EU system, the trade-off between freedom and security as well as the “actorness” of the EU in climate policy. The forum category provides a plea for a bold European internal and security policy.
A collective review discusses if an update is required for reference works on German European policy after the historical “Zeitenwende” with the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The festive event on the 75th birthday of Peter-Christian Müller-Graff is outlined in the conference report of AEI.
Internal Security in the Political System of the European Union: Policies, Authority and Challenges for Rule of Law Standards
This article analyses the European Union’s (EU) internal security policy as a core element of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) established by the Treaty of Amsterdam in the 1990s. In official EU internal security documents, the AFSJ has been gradually replaced by the label Security Union since the mid-2010s. Even if internal security became a fully integrated part of the new EU when the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in 2009, the member states’ governments and intergovernmental patterns still play an important role in this policy area, as security agencies and justice institutions still differ significantly between the member states. Despite the increased importance of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the member states’ strong role and the trend towards a Security Union are challenges for the establishment of rule-of-law style internal security structures in the EU.
The European Union as an area of security between (fundamental) freedoms of its citizens and their (fundamental) right to security Martin Heger
The European Union (EU) constitutes an area of freedom, security and justice in which the citizens of the Union are to be guaranteed freedom of movement without internal borders. At the same time, it is emphasised that the prevention and combating of crime and thus internal security are also of great importance. A look at the provisions in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union as well as the secondary legislation enacted by the Union shows, of course, a primacy of security over freedom. However, although Art.6 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights grants a right to liberty and security, and the European Court of Justice has also derived a fundamental right to security from this, such a fundamental right is not to be recognised either in the member states or in the Union. On the other hand, security considerations justify encroachments on the freedoms of Union citizens, in particular insofar as the exercise of freedom is thereby secured.
Crisis-driven integration dynamics – a neofunctionalist explanation of growing public health protection by the European Union
The COVID-19 pandemic and previous cross-border health crises have fostered European integration. The article provides a neofunctionalist explanation of the medium- to long-term deepening of the European Union (EU) in the field of public health protection and identifies as a pattern of crisis-driven integration a tight link between health crises and the establishment and strengthening of EU agencies. The European Commission is the central driving force in times of crisis which is exemplified by analysing the area of European health technology assessment and the development towards a health union as a reaction to the COVID-19 crisis. The short term is characterised by recurring standstill and watering down of reform proposals that follow an intergovernmental logic. Still, crises contribute to the choice of critical paths unleashing functional integration dynamics in a long-term perspective.
The ups and downs of European Union’s actorness in global climate governance
Klaus Jacob und Julia Teebken
At international climate conferences, the European Union (EU) and its member states both are negoti-ating partners. The EU signs the treaties to protect the climate, the member states ratify and translate them into national policy. Based on the literature on actorness, we identify different dimensions in which the EU’s actor quality is articulated. Actorness has internal dimensions, such as the transfer of responsibilities, and external dimensions, such as the recognition as a contracting party by other states. Actorness, however, cannot be grasped by analysing institutions alone, but also arises discursively and situationally. We trace EU actorness for four critical points in time in international climate policy and can thus show that actorness in the policy field has increased overall over time, but that the full potential has not yet been exploited. In some dimensions, a temporary decline in actorness could be observed, especially at the Copenhagen summit. The analysis of actorness can also contribute to the explanation of a possible lack of effectiveness.
We’ve come a long long way — but there is more to come: call for a courageous European home affairs and security policy
Europe is facing many challenges, both from the outside, such as migration, and from within, through increasing organised crime or terrorist attacks. At the same time, the tug-of-war between nation-state sovereignty and European actors leads to a byzantine maze of different responsibilities at various political levels. The high expectations of citizens for security and social cohesion put political actors under a high pressure. At the same time, however, it creates a unique window of opportunity for more reliable structures, new procedures and a bolder European Home Affairs policy.