25 Mar 2010

Remaking Europe’s Borders through the European Neighbourhood Policy

Bohdana Dimitrovova

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This Working Document explores the implications of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as an ambitious EU foreign policy for the development of a European political community. It suggests that the ENP can be viewed as an attempt to reconcile two potentially contradictory processes. The first – ‘border confirming’ – is about confirming border areas of demarcation and division, in which borders are conceived as boundary lines, frontier zones or barriers that protect the European Union and its citizens. The second – ‘border transcending’ – consists of a challenge to open EU borders and involves the transformation of the EU’s external boundaries into zones of interactions, opportunities and exchanges, with the emphasis on the transcendence of boundaries. To unpick some of the contradictions surrounding the highly contested phenomena of mobility in the neighbourhood, this paper analyses three bordering strategies: state borders, the imperial analogy and borders as networks. Each corresponds to different forms of territoriality and implies a different mode of control over the population.