Internal Rebordering in the European Union: Postfunctionalism Revisited

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Internal Rebordering in the European Union: Postfunctionalism Revisited

  • Artur Gruszczak Department of National Security, Jagiellonian University, Poland

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Abstract:  The EU has been under severe strain as a free-travel area. The migration crisis of the mid-2010s and the current Covid-19 pandemic have exerted a negative impact on the freedom of movement in the EU and the undisturbed crossing of internal borders within the Schengen area. Direct effects and long-term consequences of the prolonged crisis have shown that the dynamics of integration, which are determined by spillover effects of transnational processes, are counterposed by a politicization of domestically-embedded issues of security governance. This assumption underpins the postfunctionalist approach to European integration proposed originally by Hooghe and Marks. The tendency towards longstanding derogations from the Schengen regime, termed “internal rebordering,” should be juxtaposed with efforts of the European Commission towards a full restoration of the Schengen area without controls at internal borders. The argument developed in this article holds that internal rebordering has been embedded in the logic of the EU as an area of freedom, security, and justice comprising the Schengen area as its territorial manifestation. The rebordering processes in the EU and in the Schengen area have questioned the principle of “constraining dissensus” underlaying the postfunctionalist approach.

Keywords:  borders; European Union; mobility; postfunctionalism; rebordering; Schengen



© Artur Gruszczak. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.