Hardening borders during the pandemic in the European Union

The Shape of the Schengen Borders Code and the EU Digital COVID Certificate


  • Dr. Réka Friedery Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence




European Union, COVID-19, Schengen Border Code, EU Digital COVID Certificate, mobility


The COVID-19 pandemic restricted mobility. Border controls, travel restrictions, bans on entry and exit influenced mobility with implications on EU citizens and third-country nationals. When Member States of the European Union were confronted with COVID-19, the first reaction was to turn to border policy, similarly to the migration crisis in 2015. At the beginning of the pandemic, when the articles of the Schengen Borders Code (SBC) were triggered, workers with certain occupations were exempted from the restrictions, and with the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, people’s mobility was linked to the possession of the health Certificate. This paper presents the multiple layers of free movement and its restrictions. The main aim of the article is to define the scope of the SBC and the EU Digital COVID Certificate that have been used during the crises. The article helps to understand the shortcomings of the EU’s crises management by emphasising the problematic points of the application of the Code and the Certificate with a critical analysis of these measures.

Author Biography

Dr. Réka Friedery, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence

Dr. Réka Friedery is a research fellow at the Center for Social Sciences Centre for Excellence of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.


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How to Cite

Friedery, R. (2022). Hardening borders during the pandemic in the European Union: The Shape of the Schengen Borders Code and the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Quarterly on Refugee Problems - AWR Bulletin, 61(1), 71–84. https://doi.org/10.57947/qrp.v61i1.29

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