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A Vibeke Sørensen funded research on free movement of persons

Posted on 13 January 2017

Cristina Blanco Sío-López — PhD in History and Civilization (History of European Integration) from the EUI in 2008, EUI Ambassador, European Commission Expert at REA, EISA Section Chair, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Perugia and Associate Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History (IHC) of the New University of Lisbon — was a Vibeke Sørensen Fellow at the Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU) from November to December 2016.

Her research project, entitled 'Navigating Schengen: Historical Challenges and Potentialities of the Free Movement of Persons from European to Global Governance', examines the critical role of multilevel European institutions' players in articulating resilient responses to evolving modes of exclusion since the inception of the Schengen Area in 1985.

The added value of the HAEU primary sources for this subject matter is centred, in her opinion, on the fact that they allow the recovery of empowering historical critiques towards the so-called 'Schengen Laboratory', which could be relevant today to find inclusive ways to respond to the asylum and migration external dimension challenges currently being posed with regards to the free movement of persons. 

The first part of her project focuses on the interplay between the free movement of persons and the crucial issue of migration. More particularly, it addresses evolving European institutions' proposals to constructively integrate third country migrants in the Community with a view to outlining changing notions of positive societal impact in periods characterised by crises and demands for systemic change. Secondly, it takes into account the current challenges to the Schengen Area in relation to a comparative analysis of global governance approaches to free movement of persons as part of other regional integration processes in order to enhance the quality and sustainability of democracy as part of good global governance benchmarks. 

During her Sørensen fellowship she finalised her peer-reviewed article entitled “Unveiling Co-vectors: Correlating Migration and EC Enlargement in the Case of Spain”, which will be published in the upcoming Special Issue of the Journal of European Integration History, coordinated by the European Union Liaison Committee of Historians. Her analysis of the consulted HAEU holdings also resulted in two  presentations of research results at international workshops: At the 2016 'EUI School of Intellectual History Workshop: Perspectives, Methodologies, Case Studies' with a lecture entitled "Constructing Meaning in European Integration History: Intellectual History Approaches to the Case of the EU’s Eastward Enlargement and the Free Movement of Persons in the Nineties" and at the LSE Political Studies Association (PSA), Media and Politics Group Annual General Conference 2016 'Media and Politics in Times of Crisis and Change', with a lecture entitled "Re-designing the 'Quality of Democracy' in postcrisis Spain: Public Opinion and Media Impact on the 2014 EP Elections Results". The consulted documents at the HAEU were also key to achieve the position of EISA Section Chair for the 11th Pan-European Conference on International Relations 'The Politics of International Studies in an Age of Crises', to be held in Barcelona on 13-16 September 2017, being co-organised by the European International Studies Association (EISA) and the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). Indeed, as a result of this research fellowship, she is now glad to launch the Call for Panel and Papers as Chair of the EISA Section 'Resurfacing 1989 in the History of International Relations'

In short, one of her most appreciated features of her consulted documents at the HAEU lies in how they rewardingly unfold the multiple meanings of a “human dimension” of European integration, of EC/EU enlargement processes and of a progressively envisioned “free movement of persons”, aggregating synergic elements such as: human rights, common or compatible legal systems, public administration, education including technical and management education, social provisions and political culture and institutions. 


For more information, contact Cristina Blanco Sio-Lopez: [email protected]

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