Buzzword or Leitmotiv? Sustainability and the Transformation of the Political Order in Europe

Friday, July 14, 2017
Forehall (University of Glasgow)
Thomas E. Henökl , Bi- and multi-lateral development policy, German Development Institute
Recent developments in the areas of migration management and anti-terrorism in Europe have triggered a reflex of executive steering from the governmental cores of the EU member states and a tendency to increasingly devise policies directed at stronger transnational coordination of enforcement in a number of key government areas, namely rule of law, defence, border protection as well as internal and external security. It has been argued that these measures are necessary to address the simultaneous endogenous and exogenous pressures on the Union amounting to an existential political and legitimacy crisis for the EU, aggravated by the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Given the direct cross-border involvement of security authorities, this paper asks whether this trend, involving national and EU authorities bound together in the joint performance of core-state functions, amounts to the emergence of a “European security governance space”. To elucidate this question, the focus of the paper is put on the intensified coordination between home affairs specialists, border protection as well as law enforcement agents and diplomats at EU and member state level. The paper studies a number of cases witnessing of a tendency towards reinforcing existing bureaucratic connections and operational links between entities in the fields of policing and judiciary, border protection, intelligence, defence and diplomacy at different governance levels, notably in the form of intensified coordination patterns, information exchange and in a way of more or less loosely coupled organizational sub-units.