The Area of Freedom, Security and Justice: The Construction of a ‘European Public Order’

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Despite the significant growth the Area of Freedom, Justice and Security (AFSJ) has seen recently, it is still comparatively under-researched. The main argument of the article is that norms have been constructed over recent years in such a way that the AFSJ has set a project in motion which aims to create a veritable ‘European Public Order’. This change has not come overnight though, and it has been normatively constructed over the past decade. In agreement with Christiansen, it is argued that a constructivist institutionalist approach may be best suited to analyse these developments, representing one of the new ‘high points’ of European construction. Four different stages of development are examined, i.e. the pre- and post-Maastricht, the Amsterdam and Tampere, and the Constitutional Treaty phases. These developments have now significantly altered the norm of national sovereignty in EU internal security. As a consequence of this, some of the most spectacular changes in the EU can be expected in this area in the future with the new five-year ASFJ programme agreed in The Hague.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-483
JournalEuropean Security
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


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