The other side 'Fortress Europe': Policy transfers in the EU and the liberalising effects of EU membership on Greek immigrant policy
Title: The other side 'Fortress Europe': Policy transfers in the EU and the liberalising effects of EU membership on Greek immigrant policy
Author: MAVRODI, Georgia
Publisher: Bielefeld, Centre of Migration, Citizenship & Development
Series/Report no.: COMCAD Arbeitspapiere / Working Papers; 2010/89
The metaphor of 'Fortress Europe' has been used frequently to denote the restrictive and defensive characteristics of immigration and asylum issues policies in the EU. Wishing to go beyond the prevailing conceptions about the common EU policies, I argue that EU norms on the rights of legally resident third-country nationals can also have pro-immigrant liberalising effects on the policies of the member-states. These effects are most probable in the countries that have recently become immigrant hosts because the EU level of decision-making acted as a transmission belt of the immigration policy concerns, principles and legacies of “older” immigratio countries across time and member-states. Undeniably, the primary focus of common EU norms has been on immigration control. However, the policy concerns and experiences of “older” immigration countries have also resulted in some attention paid to fostering immigrant integration. Away from the spotlights of academic research and public opinion, the Greek participation in the European “Fortress” resulted in the adoption of pro-immigrant policy measures at home that would have been unlikely outside the framework of EU membership. As the Greek case demonstrates, common EU norms may promote the liberalisation of immigrant policies in the EU member states that are “new” immigration countries. These findings invite for a reconsideration of the nature, the policy dynamics, and the limitations of “Fortress Europe”.
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