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Immigration and European Integration: Towards Fortress Europe?

Immigration and European Integration: Towards Fortress Europe? By Andrew Geddes. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000. 196p. $69.95 cloth, $24.95 paper.

Andrew Geddes provides a European analysis of European migration policy. He asks two questions: To what degree has the European Union (EU) garnered control over migration policies of member states? What is the policy outcome? In answering these questions, the author makes two contributions to the literature.

First, Geddes documents the evolution of EU control over migration policy, from the origins of European integration through ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam. (I refer to EU in the text, although this entity has had different names at different times.) He correctly points out that migration policy involves both intra- and extra-European population movement. Free movement for Europeans was central from the original Treaty of Paris (1951), which founded the European Coal and Steel Community, and its "constitutionalization" and "institutionalization" gradually evolved. Although the original texts were ambiguous, citizenship in a member state became the criterion for free movement. Ultimately, European citizenship was created in the Treaty on European Union (1992), which granted all citizens of member states the right to reside (and work) in any member state. Therefore, third country nationals (TCNs) do not qualify.

As for the EU's extra-European migration policy, the Single European Act (1986) created a single market and, more important, the Schengen Agreement (beginning in 1985) broke down internal frontiers, both of which led member states to cooperate on immigration and asylum policy. Geddes describes the gradual incorporation of these decision-making arenas into the EU's institutional structures, but intergovernmental cooperation was accompanied by "a resistance to integration" (p. 67), so these arenas remain subject to national control through rules that require unanimity for policy change. Moreover, according to Geddes, the shift to EU policymaking reduced democratic and judicial oversight in member states, which could increase internal security measures with respect to extra-European migrants. His account summarizes the trajectory of EU migration policy and provides a useful and detailed history of the changing institutional locus of migration policy decisions.

Second, Geddes provides a careful description of policy outcomes, especially those associated with TCNs. He discusses the "co-existence of restrictive and expansive tendencies in immigration policies" (p. 172) and the securitization of immigration policy. This is a useful corrective to such authors as Yasemin Nahoglu Soysal (Limits of Citizenship, 1994) and David Jacobson (Rights Across Borders, 1996), who emphasize the advent of a "postnational" citizenship. Geddes is not alone in his observations (see Gallya Lahav, "International vs. National Constraints in Family Reunification Migration Policy," Global Governance 3 [September-December 1997]: 349-73, for an earlier analysis of the restrictive elements of European migration policy), he reminds us that restrictions on TCNs are still considerable.

Having established the unequal treatment of TCNs in chapters 2 through 5, Geddes devotes chapters 6 and 7 to an evaluation of immigrants' efforts to extract more equal treatment from member states, using the EU as an institutional level. He points to political opportunity structures as a determinant of organizational efforts. Again, his conclusions differ from postnational analyses, which emphasize principles of human rights. Geddes argues that, because free market principles underpin free movement in Europe, immigrant lobbies build on those principles to legitimate their demand. This is a persuasive argument that complements rather than contradicts Soysal's and Jacobson's focus on human rights, international law, and the courts as mechanisms for expanding migrant rights. Despite careful attention to the institutional context of migration policy, the author fails to provide a clear theory--and therefore no predictions--about either the degree of European integration on the immigration policy dimension or the inclusiveness of future policies.

Ultimately, the book makes primarily an empirical rather than a theoretical contribution. The author, in chapter 1, argues that he is moving beyond the theoretical dichotomy of intergovernmentalism and supranationalism by adopting a "multi-level approach," which documents that "powers and authority are now shared" by local, national, and supranational institutions (p. 37). His description of the different trajectories of free movement versus immigration and asylum policies is useful empirically but disappointing theoretically. The variation across policy arenas suggests that we need a theory to explain why most of the powers and authority for free movement are vested at the European level, whereas most authority over immigration and asylum remains at the national level. Geddes argues that the process of integration has not been uniform, and sovereignty is variously dispersed at local, national, and supranational levels for different policies. Without a theoretical framework, however, we cannot understand why and cannot predict future policy courses.

Finally, there are contradictions in the presentation that are glossed over rather than explored. Immigrant lobbies maintain that current policy, which provides national social benefits to immigrants based on residence but requires citizenship for supranational benefits, is "illogical." But few political scientists would argue that logic is the driving force behind most political decisions. Also, Geddes argues that EU institutions reflect a "democratic deficit" and require greater citizen participation; yet, the more generous efforts to integrate migrants are attributed in part to the EU's insulation from local political pressures.

These unexplored contradictions point to an underlying tension in the text. The author correctly chides (some of) the literature for its normative bias and argues that an empirical analysis is necessary. Moreover, he states that "policy needs to be based on a valid theory of cause and effect" (p. 24). Yet, because Geddes provides no theoretical framework, he cannot do more than caution against optimistic expectations for immigrant policy in Europe: "It is not possible to prejudge the outcome" (p. 169).

One might chide the author for some of his interpretations, but the basic empirical analysis is solid. If there is little by way of hypotheses and hypothesis testing, the book does not deceive. It lays out empirical questions and answers them with a careful review of the multilayered institutions governing free movement, immigration, and asylum policy in Europe. It will be widely cited by those interested in EU migration.

Jeannette Money, University of California, Davis
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Money, Jeannette
Publication:American Political Science Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 1, 2001
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