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Finding Place for Freedom, Security and Justice: The European Un-ion’s Claim to Territorial Unity


  • Hans Lindahl


Legal and political analyses tend to downplay the problem of spatiality evoked in the notion of an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, focusing instead on the dis-tinct policy fields covered by this triad of values. Whatever its merits, this analytic strategy neglects the central claim hidden in what seems to be but a flatulent title: the closure of space into a legal place, into a bounded region, is ingredient to the very possibility and concrete realization of freedom, security and justice. This paper explores this claim in four stages. Initially it examines and rejects the preliminary objection that globalisation marks the irreversible decline of legal place as a consti-tutive feature of social life. Then it develops a legal topology of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice, arguing that two different modes of the inside/outside distinc-tion are at stake in Articles 61 and 63 ECT. Subsequently, drawing on Communica-tion 459/98 and the Preambles to the Treaties, the paper outlines a topogenesis of the Area, describing the representational process by which its boundaries are pos-ited. The paper concludes by asserting that the primacy of security over freedom and justice is related to the paradox governing a fledgling European public order: in the process of enforcing the Union’s claim to an own place, the Area of Freedom, Secu-rity and Justice becomes unrecognisable as the Union’s own place.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Lindahl, 2004. "Finding Place for Freedom, Security and Justice: The European Un-ion’s Claim to Territorial Unity," The Constitutionalism Web-Papers p0003, University of Hamburg, Faculty for Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:conweb:p0003

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    European identity; spatial theory; immigration policy; security/internal;

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