The Crafting of a Paradox: Schengen inside and out

Leonie Ansems De Vries, Christina Oelgemoller, Kees Groenendijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is now a large literature discussing ‘Fortress Europe’ and the character of the Schengen area, especially how it has established freedom of movement inside at the expense of easy access from the outside. This article challenges this metaphor by going back to the early negotiations around Schengen and shedding light on some of the concerns raised at the time regarding ‘compensatory measures’, the un/desirable and technological solutions. We do so through a genealogical reading of documents from two different but related archival sources that allow insight into the perceptions of policy-makers at the time when Schengen was negotiated, now that these documents have become partially accessible. We show that consensus around the freedom and regulation of movement internally and control of access at the boundaries was crafted simultaneously – rather than as a ‘compensatory measure’ – and in the context of efforts to identify the un/desirable and find technological solutions to the ‘problem’ of free movement. We also discuss how this has transformed our understanding of the place and meaning of freedom of movement such that today it is both taken for granted and under attack.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-25
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Migration and Border Studies
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2020


  • Schengen, freedom of movement, securitisation, migration, technology, genealogy


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