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Uncovering European Union Immigration Legislation: Policy Dynamics and Outcomes


  • Adam Luedtke

    1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey.
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The member states of the European Union (EU) have recently experimented with constructing a common immigration policy. This gives rise to an important and fascinating question: what happens to immigration policy once it is no longer made in national capitals? Have national governments been able to retain ultimate control over the field of EU immigration policy? Or do we see slippage towards supranational power, with the Commission, Parliament, and Court of Justice expanding their influence? If EU institutions have gained power, do they use this power to defend the rights and freedoms of immigrants against restrictionist national governments? Using participant interviews (listed in Appendix I) and documentary analysis, I analyse negotiations over three EU immigration laws: the directives on family reunification, long-term residence, and economic migration. I assess whether national preferences are implemented in these directives, or whether supranational institutions have moved policy away from national preferences, potentially expanding immigrant rights and freedoms.