The EU’s visa liberalisation policy

What kind of transformative power in neighbouring regions?

Authored by: Laure Delcour

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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Visa-free travel across European continent is a difficult standard to achieve. Since 1989 many walls have been torn down, but many still persist. In the 1990s and increasingly in 2000s Schengen visa liberalisation has become a political tool. In the 1990s it was used as a symbolic gesture for post-communist countries of Central Europe disregarding migration realities on the continent. In the 2000s it has been used as a complement of accession strategy with Western Balkans and replacement of the accession perspective for Eastern European countries. As the literature reviewed in this chapter demonstrates, in all these cases visa liberalisation is a process that goes beyond visa free travel, requiring broad reforms of key justice and home affairs policy fields.

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