EuroStorie research seminar: Saila Heinikoski 17.3.2020

We are live streaming this event - join us from the link below.

Time: Tuesday 17.3.2020 13:00-14:00

Please join us live via Zoom-stream on the following address:

Saila Heinikoski – European border management constrained by national sovereignty: consensus on capacity-building, dissensus on common regulation.


The 2016 EU-Turkey agreement was a manner for the member states to buy time in order to agree on common migration and asylum rules, but as evidenced by the recent events in the border between Turkey and Greece, have failed to do so. What they have been able to agree on was providing more resources to Frontex, whereas some countries have been afraid that supranational regulation would constrain their national sovereignty. A case in point is the recent Regulation the European Border and Coast Guard 2019/1896, with which the member states will grant more border guarding resources to an EU-level agency (Frontex) while retaining power over its political steering. Simultaneously, we also see some member states holding onto their sovereignty in maintaining temporary internal border controls uninterrupted for more than four years, a period surpassing the limits stipulated in the Schengen Borders Code 2016/399. Out of the Schengen countries, France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Norway and Sweden all conduct internal border controls from late 2015 or early 2016.

This presentation focuses on two legislative processes illustrating power dynamics in EU border management. One relates to the Regulation on European Border and Coast Guard 2019/1896, which stipulates, among other issues, on the creation of 10,000 European border guards. The other process involves the regulation proposal on the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders, proposed by the European Commission in September 2017 (COM(2017) 571) and on which the EU Council has so far failed to agree on a common position.

About the speaker

Dr Saila Heinikoski works as a Senior Research Fellow in the European Union Research Programme at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. After gaining her PhD in Political Science at the University of Turku, she has worked as a Researcher at the Finnish Border Guard, as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Lapland and as a Post-doctoral Researcher in the Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives at the University of Helsinki. Her expertise covers border management and free movement policies of the European Union as well as the theory and practice of European integration. She has written numerous articles on these topics, co-authored the monograph “Demilitarization and International Law in Context” (Routledge, 2018) and her forthcoming book “History and Politics of Free Movement within the European Union: European Borders of Justice” will be published by Bloomsbury in 2020.