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Borders and Discrimination in the European Union

As a result of the shifting of the borders from the Member States to the external borders of the EU, the rules regulating who can cross these, and under what terms, have taken on a whole new significance.

This study examines the scope of EU rules concerning the entry of third-country nationals into EU territory and
the distinctions made therein on the basis of nationality. The distinctions made are between nationals of EU Member States and EU citizens, between EU citizens and third-country nationals, and between particular groups of third-country nationals.

The study concludes that the fundamental right to be free from discrimination is undermined considerably by EU rules on the crossing of external borders, and by rules concerning the issuing of visas to third-country nationals. It is argued that there is no reasonable and objective justification for these rules, and that they may in fact be masking discrimination based on more invidious grounds such as race, ethnic or national origin and religion. Serious deficiencies can be identified not only in the way these rules are formulated, but in the way they are applied in practice.