A European Border and Coast Guard: What's in a Name?

CEPS Paper in Liberty and Security in Europe

22 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2016

See all articles by Sergio Carrera

Sergio Carrera

Centre for European Policy Studies

Leonhard Den Hertog

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Date Written: March 8, 2016

Abstract

This paper assesses the Commission’s proposal presented in December 2015 to set up a European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG), based on the responses made by the EU border agency Frontex to the ‘refugee crisis’ that began in 2015 and continues unabated. It explores the extent to which this proposed new body will be capable of remedying the EU’s shortcomings in meeting established border and asylum standards and related institutional needs on the ground and concludes that it is unlikely to do so. The paper argues that the EBCG proposal does not establish a true European Border and Coast Guard. Instead it would revamp Frontex into a Frontex Agency. The EBCG would expand the current logic of national border guards to be committed to the Frontex Agency ‘pools’ and therefore does not solve the ‘dependency’ of Frontex on member states. More importantly, the EBCG would do too little to ensure that member states comply with EU border and asylum standards, which has constituted the central deficiency throughout 2015 and earlier. We find that it will also fall short of establishing a professional culture in border control cooperation to be shared across the Union. Revamping and relabelling Frontex will create expectations that will be difficult to fulfil if compliance with EU border, reception, and asylum standards remains weak on the ground. The paper calls on the EU to give higher priority to policies dealing with the structural compliance with EU border and asylum standards by all member states, moving beyond the EU Dublin system and including an enlarged role for the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

Keywords: European Border and Coast Guard, EBCG, EU, Frontex, border, asylum, asylum standards

Suggested Citation

Carrera, Sergio and Den Hertog, Leonhard, A European Border and Coast Guard: What's in a Name? (March 8, 2016). CEPS Paper in Liberty and Security in Europe, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2745230

Sergio Carrera (Contact Author)

Centre for European Policy Studies ( email )

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B-1000 Brussels, 1000
Belgium
+32 2 229 39 26 (Phone)

Leonhard Den Hertog

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

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