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International Relations and the European Union

International Relations and the European Union (4th edn)

Christopher Hill, Michael Smith, and Sophie Vanhoonacker-Kormoss
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date: 22 May 2024

p. 35216. Internal Security and External Complication(s)*locked

p. 35216. Internal Security and External Complication(s)*locked

  • Sarah Wolff


After the end of the Cold War, the internal–external security nexus, which refers to the links between what used to be distinct concepts under the Westphalian approach to international relations, has become a reality of European security. This chapter reviews the development of the external dimension of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), which manifests this internal–external nexus, covering its evolution from a side product of European economic integration to a multi-dimensional and increasingly digitalized policy area. In the last decade, multiple ‘crises’—from the Syrian refugee inflows of 2015, to Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in 2021, the war in Ukraine in 2022 and its ensuing refugee flows to the European Union (EU)—shaped the policy responses. From the reintroduction of internal border controls in March 2020 as a first reaction of EU member states to the Covid-19 crisis to the adoption of the temporary protection directive as an unprecedented response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis, the EU has developed new coordinating tools to adapt to this state of continuous emergency and to the proteiform nature of global security changes.

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