Small states and open borders in the EU
This workshop and roundtable is part of the ongoing project "Navigating the Storm: The Challenges for Small States in Europe".
Small EU member states are especially vulnerable to pan-European challenges and political turmoil, and rely on the EU’s legal framework to navigate their way through these uncertain times.
Some claim that the EU, and the international system at large, has entered a new era of unpredictability. States face challenges that tend to outstrip effective collective responses, let alone the response capacity of all but the most powerful governments. These challenges have placed new strains on the framework of inter-state cooperation and the institutions that regulate those frameworks, be it in the worlds of economics, trade or defence. There is a new volatility in the public policy arena where larger powers may even increasingly choose to act outside the institutional frameworks which the smaller powers rely on as a guarantor of their stability and prosperity.
Following the financial crisis of 2008, which hit the economies of small states especially hard, other challenges have emerged that have forced the EU to find ways of responding to a changing reality. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its subsequent involvement in Eastern Ukraine has displayed the frailty of international law and has forced neighbouring states - especially neighbouring small states - to rethink their security policies and recalculate their diplomacy. The migration flows into Europe has sparked an increasingly hostile public debate in many European states on border controls and the free movement of people – a principle small states view as important for their prosperity. Furthermore, the terrorist attacks in Europe have forced countries to rethink their wider sense of security. Accordingly, the free movement of people and Schengen have become more politically contested and emotionally charged issues.
More info on this event will soon follow.