EU institutions

Venue for restrictions or liberal constraints?

Authored by: Ariadna Ripoll Servent

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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European Union (EU) supranational institutions have become increasingly important in the field of migration policies. The gradual shift away from intergovernmentalism has turned the European Parliament (EP), the European Commission (Commission) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) into key policy-making actors with the capacity to influence the shape of migration policies. However, no consensus has been reached over the extent and direction of their impact: are EU supranational institutions acting as liberal constraints – impeding member states to adopt even more restrictive policy solutions – or are they on the contrary reinforcing this policy rationale? This chapter explores the theoretical assumptions of the ‘venue-shopping’ and ‘liberal constraint’ theses and goes on to examine the assumptions of the ‘liberal constraint’ thesis more in-depth by assessing the policy preferences of the EP, Commission and CJEU. Finally, the conclusion discusses some of the main conceptual and methodological weaknesses in the current academic literature and proposes some avenues for future research.

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