Security Union: A View Into the “Engine Room” of European Integration

Since 2015, the European Union aims to establish a “Security Union” as a framework for security-related measures and policies in various areas. In a new article in the journal European Security  Aline Bartenstein, Hendrik Hegemann and Oliver Merschel examine how administrative actors in the “engine room” of European integration perceive and implement the political project of the “Security Union” in their daily work. For their analysis, they conducted extensive interviews with administrative staff members in the European Commission, the Council Secretariat and member states representations. The authors find that comprehensive security narratives as advanced by the “Security Union” can also change the self-understanding of administrative actors, for example when people working on trade or social policy start to consider security to be a key part their mandate. Daily interactions and individual contacts, for example in joint working groups, are of special importance in this regard. 

The article was written as part of the research project “Solidarity through Security? Discourses, Interactions and Practices of European Solidarity in the Field of Security (ZUSE)”.