Juliette Dupont, PhD Candidate, Centre for International Studies, Université de Montréal (CÉRIUM)

Executive Summary
European integration led to the suppression of internal border controls and the adoption of common external borders. Designed as a compensatory measure to free movement, the common short-stay visa policy, also known as Schengen visa policy, is a tool to prevent unwanted migration to Europe. Although the Schengen framework is supposedly uniform, Schengen visa policy is characterized by many ambiguities and disparities, making it extremely difficult to apprehend for third-country nationals. The COVID-19 pandemic swept the routine of travel restrictions to Europe. Since March 2020, almost all non-EU citizens are subject to international travel bans. The dilemma between openness and control has rarely been so salient. However, I argue in this memo that EU external border control in times of COVID-19 reproduces the same inconsistencies of Schengen visa policy: EU management of travel restrictions lacks from transparency and enforcement. I prescribe four recommendations to redefine a more cohesive Schengen visa policy and to build a more clarified and more unified external border management framework.


This policy memo is one of ten policy memos for the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Program Support for Associations project “Building capacity for Canada’s European Studies community: the European Community Studies Association Canada (ECSA-C) as a research and outreach hub” (ECSA-Cn).

Young ECSA-C scholars from Canada and Europe were invited to come up with policy advise in their respective fields of research in close collaboration with the five ECSA-C research groups: * Democracy/ led by Oliver Schmidtke, University of Victoria; * Environment, Climate Change and Energy/ led by Joan Debardeleben, Carleton University; * Foreign Policy and Security/ led by Frédéric Mérand, Université de Montréal; * Migration/ led by Ruben Zaiotti, Dalhousie University; * Political Economy/ led by Kurt Hübner, University of British Columbia. The initiative Europe Canada Network (EUCAnet.org), coordinated by Beate Schmidtke, collaborates closely with the ECSA-C team.

The policy memo series is designed to contribute to the public debate on core challenges in public policy making with a particular emphasis on comparative, transatlantic perspectives. It is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Union. 


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