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Jorrit Rijpma opens calendar year with the Meijers Lecture

On 12 January 2018 Jorrit Rijpma, associate professor of the Europa Institute and Jean Monnet Professor, held the yearly Meijers lecture. In the well-attended lecture he spoke on the topics of his Jean Monnet Chair on Mobility and Security: the aftermath of the refugee crisis and the effects on free movement in Europe, more specifically the Schengen area.

He explained how the Schengen cooperation came under pressure due to the 2015 refugee crisis, as well as the continuing threat of terrorist violence. As a result Rijpma observed a renewed interest in hard borders, which in his words amounts to “border fetishism”.  

As internal borders have been reinstated, external borders have been simultaneously digitalized, as well as externalized. On the one hand the focus on borders is understandable. It characterizes an EU that has come of age and considers it its task to actively contribute to the security of its citizens. On the other hand, it carries the risk of a one-sided focus of security driven by fear of the other. It is the Union’s task to provide an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. None of these elements should be considered in isolation, as they are mutually supporting.

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