G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

European Borders of Justice - Practical Reasoning on Free Movement within the European Union

List of Authors: Heinikoski Saila

Publisher: University of Turku

Place: Turku

Publication year: 2017

ISBN: 978-951-29-6971-5

eISBN: 978-951-29-6972-2

URL: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-6972-2


The right to free movement is considered the right of each European Union (EU) citizen. The present study examines how European politicians justify and criticize freedom of movement in the period from November 2004 to January 2015. The analysis takes into account the discourses of the Heads of State or Government and Ministers of the Interior of six major European states (UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Romania). In addition to these national leaders, the speeches of European Commissioners responsible for free movement matters are also considered. The research questions include:
1) How can we theorize about free movement discourses?
2) In what ways do EU politicians articulate and advance their views?
3) How do the observed countries and the European Commission approach the question of European mobility?
4) What do these results reveal about the prevailing moods with respect to Europeanness?

The study introduces a new conceptual framework for analysing practical reasoning (justification of actions) in political discourses. The results indicate that the politicians utilize similar types of reasoning across all countries. This means that even though certain politicians may have diametrically opposing views on issues related to free movement, they nonetheless utilize a similar type of reasoning to justify their claims. The study demonstrates that politicians predominantly refer to legal obligations as well as the costs and benefits of free movement and less to sentiment-related issues.

In addition to results related to political discourses, the study unearths wider problematics related to free movement and to the groups of “insiders” and “outsiders” in Europe. It brings to light the diversified and variegated approaches towards different groups of movers, which vary from country to country and across the political spectrum. The results reveal that people from outside the EU are categorically depicted as threatening and seem to be therefore less entitled to free movement

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 12:11