Volume 51 (2014) / Issue 3
Border disputes thrived in the Schengen system over the last few years. There was litigation before the ECJ on differentiated integration; there were institutional skirmishes between Parliament and Council; and there were real border disputes between France and Italy in the wake of the Arab Spring. This article uses Schengen's crises in order to elaborate upon a number of flaws and inconsistencies in the acquis, most of which can be traced back to the way in which national and European competences have been delimited in this area. The demarcations in turn betray the contradictory driving forces for Schengen integration. The article concludes that integration in a field so riddled with national sensitivities and supranational symbolism cannot follow a linear, comprehensive and predictable path, which may be problematic in that the European judicial system currently lacks instruments that can contribute towards greater coherence and consistency. As such, Schengen's crises may also tell us something about the shortcomings of traditional legal theories on integration.
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