Stefan Auer

Jean Monnet Chair in EU Interdisciplinary Studies; Director Innovative Universities European Union (IUEU) Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne

(September 2010)


Why Boundaries Matter in a Borderless Europe

The enlargement of the European Union in 2004 brought into sharp relief one of the key paradoxes of recent integration history: just at a time when national boundaries in the EU-Europe have been losing importance owing to some key provisions in the Maastricht Treaty of 1993 (e.g. the creation of European citizenship) and the Schengen Agreement, the symbolic importance of borders has increased. In fact, a number of instances suggest that nations in a borderless Europe seek to maintain some control over their boundaries, whether they are in the West (like Germany), or in the East (such as Hungary and Slovakia).