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Cover The Institutions of the European Union

12. The institutions of Justice and Home Affairs:  

integrating security interests

Andrew Geddes

This chapter analyses the institutions of EU member state cooperation on issues such as asylum, refugee protection, migration, border controls, police cooperation, and judicial cooperation. Once seen as the prerogative of member states and as defining features of states’ identities as sovereign, complex incremental institutional change established new ways of working on internal security issues and reconfigured the strategic setting from which these issues are viewed. The recent history of these developments provides insight into the EU’s institutional and organizational development, while also demonstrating how, why, and with what effects these issues have become politicized in EU member states. The politicization of migration and asylum, in particular, complements this chapter’s focus on institutional developments by identifying the source of key pressures and strains to which these institutions have been exposed. The most recent COVID-19 pandemic restricting the free movement of people across Europe, the 2020 fire that broke out at the Moria refugee camp at Lesbos, and the European Commission’s ‘New Pact on Migration and Asylum’ of September 2020 raised serious questions about the content and viability of key components of the EU’s approach to security and human rights. From being a policy arena that was not even mentioned in the Treaty of Rome or Single European Act (SEA), internal security within an ‘area of freedom, security, and justice’ (AFSJ) is now a key EU priority. This chapter pinpoints key developments, specifies institutional roles, and explores the relationships over time between changing conceptualizations of security and institutional developments.