CfP: The Borders of Europe. The Schengen System in a Historical Perspective (1990-2020)
In 1985, a group of five member states of the European Community (EC), i.e. France, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Benelux countries, signed an agreement in Schengen, whose aim was to remove internal border controls. It also provided for measures to strengthen external border controls and to ramp up the fight against drug trafficking, international crime and illegal immigration. This document, however, was more a working programme than a detailed plan of action and it was outside the community framework. After the Schengen Agreement had been signed, negotiations were therefore opened to decide upon a convention implementing it (CISA). The CISA, signed in 1990 in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall, specified the measures, which were to compensate for the abolition of internal border controls; it also established the Schengen Information System, to support external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen states.
The system based on the CISA started to work in 1995, and was incorporated into the European Union in 1999, after the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty. Today, twenty-six European countries have abolished internal border controls and established judicial and police cooperation and common rules for controlling external borders.
This conference aims at commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Schengen system, still considered as one of the most significant achievements of the European integration despite its current problems and challenges. Meanwhile, it intends to analyse events and dynamics behind it at a time when primary sources are beginning to be available to scholars. The time has come, in fact, for historians, along with political scientists, jurists, economists, sociologists and demographers, to discuss and draw some conclusions on the evolving conceptions and practical applications of the Schengen process, placing both of them in the wider context of the social and demographic transformation of the Euro-Mediterranean region and the political and economic narrative of continental integration.
The main purpose of this conference is thus to integrate the existing fragmented analyses, place them in a longer and broader perspective and extend the analysis further by examining: