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Borders and the EU legitimacy problem: the 2015–16 European Refugee Crisis

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The porous external border around the Schengen member states of the European Union (EU) became a colossal political problem in 2015 and 2016 as the migrant and Refugee Crisis unfolded. In Beetham’s seminal terminology, there was a crisis between the EU’s power and legitimacy on all three dimensions hereof: The Dublin regime was not followed, there was a gap between the beliefs of the governing and the subordinate peoples, and there were increasingly critical views among citizens and politicians alike (even from mainstream parties) against the inflow of refugees and migrants outside of the normal asylum system. The behaviour of the EU actors since then can be interpreted as an attempt at containing this crisis as regards Beetham’s legitimacy dimensions.
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Keywords: EU; Frontex; Refugee Crisis; Schengen; borders; normative Europe

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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