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Session Overview
Panel 311: The Future of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in Times of Populism and Political Uncertainty II
Monday, 02/Sep/2019:
3:00pm - 4:30pm

Session Chair: Ariadna Ripoll Servent, University of Bamberg
Location: Room 12.34

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The Future of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in Times of Populism and Political Uncertainty II

Chair(s): Ariadna Ripoll Servent (University of Bamberg, Germany)

Recent events such as Brexit, the Schengen governance crisis, the rise in the number of asylum-seekers, or the increase in terrorist attacks on European soil have brought the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice to the forefront of electoral and budgetary concerns. At the same time, we have seen growing concerns about how political contestation across and within member states might affect the further evolution of this policy area, as the rise in populism has reinforced long-existing tensions between nationalisation and Europeanisation. On this basis, this special issue proposes to look into the impact of populism and political uncertainty on the content and structure of internal security policies, as well as on the evolution of AFSJ institutions and actors. More specifically, it asks what it means to build an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in a framework of crisis and uncertainty, and how it affects the process of integration at the European Union level. In this special issue, we propose to explain how populism and political uncertainty within and beyond Europe have contributed to shaping the definition of this ‘core state power’ (i.e. a power linked to the key functions of states, notably the control of the territory and the legitimate use of force) at the European level both in substantive (policy content) and procedural terms (state of integration). This first panel concentrates on how domestic and European governance in internal security matters have been affected by the impact of (global) populism and uncertainty.


Presentations of the Symposium


Rethinking the Role of Private Actors in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: Insights from Cybersecurity in Times of Uncertainty

Helena Farrand Carrapico1, Benjamin Farrand2
1Northumbria University, 2Aston University

Throughout two decades of evolution in the field of cybersecurity, online service providers, such as Google and Facebook, have evolved from perceived passive victims of security attacks, to self-regulatory partners in security governance, and, more recently, to active shapers of regulation concerning the resilience of network and information systems. However, recent developments have led policy-makers to reassess the contribution and the role of private actors in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, and increasingly labelling these companies as potential security risks. EU institutions and national governments are now reconsidering whether a ‘light-touch’ self-regulatory role is best-suited to regulating new security threats, or whether a return to a more hierarchical form of command-and-control regulation is necessary in light of recent developments. Examples include Facebook’s lax attitude to personal data protection resulting in the ‘scraping’ of user data by Cambridge Analytica in order to manipulate elections, and the role of social media providers in spreading online disinformation (or ‘fake news’). This paper seeks to explore the changing perception of these Internet companies in further detail, and what this may tell us about the evolution of security privatisation in the context of the future of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice.


Smart Borders, Interoperability and Frontex 4.0 – EU Border Security between Symbolism and Technocracy

Raphael Bossong
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik

The paper provides an up-to-date overview of the evolution of EU border security policies that unfold between ambitious declarations for increased executive powers and comparatively obscure technological projects. In particular, the paper investigates in how far the EU can pursue a dual strategy of pursuing politically salient initiatives for strengthening EU external borders, while at the same time maintaining its traditional focus on logics of risk management, “integrated border management” and technocratic networking. Empirically, this tension will be highlighted with reference to the different components of the latest reform proposal for FRONTEX, which, for instance, includes the idea of a standalone EU border force of up to 10000 officers and simultaneously seeks to integrate the spatial surveillance system EUROSUR. In addition, the paper discusses the EU’s agenda for smart borders and interoperability of data systems, which has been hailed as a response to the migration crisis in Brussels but is poorly understood in public. From a theoretical perspective, the paper does not necessarily assume a reinforcing or parallel logic of securitisation through political discourses and technocratic practices, as has been a standard argument of critical security scholars in the past. Instead, it also asks whether the increasingly information-rich and complex regime of EU border security may also generate new a visibility of, or even responsibilities towards, migrants that stand in contrast to political declarations of control and deterrence.


Between Norms and Numbers: Analysing the Global Dimension of the AFSJ

Elaine Fahey
City, University of London

The AFSJ is an area where the EU is arguably a weaker global actor than in other domains, such as trade. In the AFSJ, the EU battles some of the most complex and cutting-edge areas of global governance. Whilst stagnation attaches to various policy fields of EU law in light of the rising dominance of the Better Regulation Agenda, the AFSJ in the first two nearly complete post-Lisbon legislative cycles has seen unprecedented proliferation despite constituting a policy field closest to the nation state, in terms of sensitivity and its complex intersection of national, regional and international law. Still, many significant AFSJ policies of the most recent legislative cycle take place in areas with a significant global dimension. This paper assesses the measurability of the rising incidence of AFSJ law from a legal perspective. The paper examines a methodology of norms and numbers. It considers (i) the numerical rise in AFSJ legislation in the two legislative cycles post-Lisbon, (ii) the areas of law and amount of ‘internal security’ legislation, (iii) the place of global or other norms. It considers: How much contemporary AFSJ law has a ‘global’ dimension? What form of norms are being promoted? How do ‘populist’ AFSJ laws as initiatives get translated into practice, if they do? How should we understand the spike in legislative output? Is internal security so easy to segment in this era? How does the global dimension of policies interact?

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