With the 1996-7 IGC and signing of the Amsterdam Treaty, immigration has moved towards the top of the EU policy agenda. This paper offers an overview of developments on immigration, asylum and citizenship. It goes on to develop a sociological approach to Europeanisation, which identifies the principle actors and organisations which constitute the emerging ‘political field’ of immigration at the EU level. In particular, it discusses in detail the growing presence of NGOs in Brussels, and their strategies for influencing EU policy making. It also relates the success of these ‘transnational’ organisations to other forms of transnational cooperation between networks of European police and security experts, and between region and city networks. To understand in sociological terms the specific forms of empowerment enabled to certain groups by European integration, it is necessary to show how successful actors in the European circles have created new forms of social and cultural ‘capital’ beyond the nation state.
Amsterdam Treaty; European citizenship; Europeanization; free movement; IGC 1996; immigration policy; lobbying; minorities; political opportunity structure; Schengen; Third Pillar; asylum policy; NGOs; police cooperation; sociology
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