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Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

15. Justice and Home Affairs  

Exposing the Limits of Political Integration

Sandra Lavenex

This chapter examines the European Union’s justice and home affairs (JHA), which have evolved from a peripheral aspect into a focal point of European integration and today are at the centre of politicization in the EU. It first considers the institutionalization of JHA cooperation and its gradual move towards more supranational competences before discussing political contestation as expressed in the context of Brexit and the crisis of the common asylum and Schengen systems. The development of cooperation is retraced, looking at the main actors in the JHA, the organization and capacities of EU institutions, the continuity of intergovernmentalism, the proliferation of semi-autonomous agencies and databases, and the flow of policy, taking into account asylum policy and immigration policy, police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, and the challenge of implementation. The chapter shows how the gradual move of cooperation among national agencies concerned with combating crime; fighting terrorism; and managing borders, immigration, and asylum from loose intergovernmental cooperation to more supranational governance within the EU has remained contested, and argues that this contestation exemplifies the limits of political unification.


Cover European Union Politics

21. The Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice  

Emek M. Uçarer

This chapter looks at Justice and Home Affairs (JHA), and its subsequent transformation into the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice (AFSJ). The AFSJ comprises the policy areas immigration and asylum, and police and judicial cooperation. This chapter focuses on the early years of cooperation in this policy area, providing an introduction to the Schengen Agreement before reviewing the procedural steps taken by the Maastricht Treaty (1993), at Amsterdam (1999), and institutional developments culminating in the Lisbon Treaty. The chapter also concentrates on policy output, looking beyond Maastricht, Amsterdam, and Lisbon, at the Tampere European Council meeting, the Hague Programme, and the Stockholm Programme. The chapter argues that, although some progress has already been made toward Europeanizing AFSJ policy, this field continues to be laced with intergovernmentalism and numerous challenges remain to be resolved, especially in light of broader challenges facing the Union.