The Schengen Governance Package: The subtle balance between Community method and intergovernmental approach

12 December 2013
Yves Pascouau (Senior Adviser to EPC on migration and mobility policies)

After two years of negotiations, which were often tense and occasionally characterised by political theatrics, the Schengen governance legislative package has finally been adopted. Stemming from a context of political crisis and with the objective (for the French and Italians) of reinforcing Member States’ control of the Schengen mechanism, the legislative package yields quite a different result. Firstly, it has paved the way for quicker adoption of a new evaluation mechanism verifying the application of Schengen rules by Member States and has reinforced their implementation and efficiency. Further, the amendments to the Schengen Borders Code give greater clarification to the conditions under which States can reintroduce control at internal borders. Finally, the amendments to the Schengen regulations were concurrent with a strengthening of the roles played by the European Commission and European Parliament in Schengen governance. In this Discussion Paper, Yves Pascouau argues that, ultimately, this episode illustrates a strong movement toward integration, where confrontations between the Community method and intergovernmental approach have given way to more subtle balance.

Yves Pascouau recently set up a website on European Migration Law.

The Schengen Governance Package