Dr Roxana BARBULESCU, Post-doctoral Research Fellow of the European Neighbourhood Policy Chair at the Natolin (Warsaw) campus of the College of Europe, published the article "Inside Fortress Europe. The Europeanisation of immigrant integration and its impact on identity boundaries" in the journal Politique européenne, 2015/1 (n° 47), edited by L'Harmattan.
Immigrant integration has been historically the near monopoly of nation-states. Over the last decade, the EU has accrued a new set of competences in integration. This article argues that while it developed its role chiefly in technical areas, the emergence of the EU as a decision-maker transforms immigrant integration at its core. In a series of documents and regulations reviewed here, the EU defines immigrant integration exclusively in relation with third country nationals and it excludes the European citizens.
This exclusion of the European citizens from programmes of integration bears positive symbolic value as they are thus, excluded from the “other” category. Following the nation-state logic, this exclusion is not justified because European citizens are not part of the nation.
The article claims that such redefinition of integration is a means for constructing a cultural dimension and substantiating an identity for the European project. In doing so, it advances the process of European integration. Finally, the article discusses the challenges and characteristics of the “new” integration model consolidating at the EU level.