The state at its borders : Germany and the Schengen negotiations
The objective of this thesis is to explore Germany's border policies in the face of a European-level intergovernmental regime for border-related policies: The Schengen Agreements (1985-1995)1. The results are twofold: The border retains an essential role for state authorities for security provision since European solutions were only sought to nationally understood security threats. Yet a new principle of internal and external borders emerged in which competence for border policies was moved to the European level and in which the interests of other states have to be taken into account as if they were the state's own. The thesis analyses the rationale of Germany for advocating such a transfer of hitherto essentially national competence to an intergovernmental mechanism. The motive is identified in a combination of national (internal) security interests and current interpretations of historical experiences. A socialisation of Western Germany into European institutions led it to seek a European-level solution. In this context, the changes of the political landscape in 1989 had profound implications for the debate about borders. A changed security situation led to a focus on soft security matters which were connected to deep-seated uncertainties of the possible threats emanating from an unstable Eastern Europe. Germany's relationship with its eastern neighbours had to be clarified (which included the recognition of the Oder-Neisse border), and it had to assure the Schengen partners of its ability to guard the eastern Schengen border. The thesis concludes that Germany was one of the driving forces in the Schengen negotiations. From the start, Germany advocated a set of compensatory measures which were to counteract the identified loss of the security function of the border against international crime and illegal immigration. In parallel, it also implemented significant additional changes on the national level. The resulting Schengen system established a link between freedom and security which was retained in subsequent EU arrangements.