: Borders have gone far beyond their traditional static function of merely demarcating nationstates. Alongside physical border barriers, such as walls and barbwire fences, new technologies driven by sophisticated legal innovations have contributed to the multiplicity of border controls. These legal techniques have turned the border into an individualised moving barrier, conceptualized as a “shifting border” by Ayelet Shachar. Against this backdrop, this Article introduces, conceptually and thematically, the contributions to this Special Section which critically assess the paradigm of the shifting border in the EU and analyse its implications. We first map out intricate legal issues invoked by the rise of
hybridity and informality in the EU’s cooperation with third countries on migration and the resulting accountability deficit. Next, we scrutinize the physical and legal infrastructures of mobility regulation (and often deflection) that are currently employed at the EU’s external territorial borders. We highlight the emergence of increasing horizontal (between the EU and national level) and vertical (across national levels) administrative integration as a prevailing mode of policy implementation at the EU’s borders and reflect on the implications, including both challenges and opportunities, of this development. Finally, we scrutinise the Commission’s proposals as part of a New Pact on Migration and Asylum with respect to the envisaged processes at the borders and the streamlining of external border control, asylum, and return in a seamless process finding that they create further risks for fundamental rights and procedural guarantees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-108
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Papers : a journal on law and integration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2022


  • borders
  • EU migration policy
  • EU asylum policy
  • externalisation
  • constitutionalisation
  • EU migration agencies

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