In 1957, the Treaty of Rome mentioned the elimination of border controls within its territory as a goal of the EEC (European Economic Union). This implied that the member states would sooner or later have to address the question of deciding on common rules concerning access to their soil through the process of spill-over. However, the issue of immigration started to appear in the EU (European Union) political agenda (Uçarer, 2003, p. 295) only in the mid-1970s. Today there is a demand for closer integration in that field, but one may argue that "the EU has no need for a common immigration policy".
[...] Such divergences between the European peoples clearly indicate that a common immigration policy will not be conceivable soon. Last but not least, the member states do not tend to find similar solutions to immigration problems because they all face different types of immigration, either by the number of immigrants or asylum-seekers wishing to enter the country or by the nationalities of these people. For example, Italy received in per cent of the asylum applications carried out in the EU25, whereas in 2003 it accounted for 12.6 per cent of the Union's population. [...]
[...] As a conclusion, one could say that the arguments mentioned in the first part of the essay prove that the EU actually needs a common immigration policy: it would compensate the difficulties of the member states to control their borders, it would put an end to the shortcomings of intergovernmentalism as well as enable a ‘burden sharing' process between the States while helping the CFSP to develop. On the other hand, it has been explained why it has been proved very complex to make progress in this field. [...]
[...] Besides, it has proved hugely intricate and lengthy to make headway towards a common immigration policy because the member states hold so many different -and even sometimes opposite- views on this issue that no consensus could be reached. Moreover, provided that immigration belongs to ‘high politics' matters, the different governments have hardly applied give- and-take practices in order to preserve their national interests (Guiraudon pp. 165-167). As already mentioned in the first part of the essay, immigration policies are closely connected to external relations matters, which are precisely sensitive issues too. [...]
[...] Last but not least, a common immigration policy would resolve the obvious failures of intergovernmental methods and the lack of clearness and transparency from which suffer the current EU immigration features. The Treaty of Amsterdam transferred the issues of immigration, visas and asylum from the third intergovernmental pillar of Justice and Home Affairs to the first one, which is dedicated to ‘communitarised' policies. However, some characteristics of the EU's policy-making process in the realm of immigration still don't pertain to supranationalism: qualified majority voting is not generalized in the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament has no power to block or amend legislation coming from the Council, as the co-decision procedure is valid only for decisions regarding visas (Lavenex and Wallace p. [...]
[...] Another argument demonstrating the demand for the unification of rules on immigration is the fact that, in an area without internal borders, keeping on implementing distinct national policies on this matter makes no sense because any policy adopted by a government may possibly affect the immigration flow to other European countries. A concrete example can illustrate these ‘negative externalities' (Hix p. 364). In 1993, Sweden and Denmark decided that Bosnians henceforth needed visas to enter their territory. As a result of this new piece of legislation, Norway suffered from a sudden augmentation of asylum applications from Bosnian nationals, until it passed the same regulation (Collinson p. [...]
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