The Management of The European Union’s External Borders
Forthcoming in: P De Bruycker and L Tsourdi (eds) Research Handbook on EU Asylum and Migration Law (Edward Elgar 2021)
26 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 1, 2020
The progressive Europeanisation of the management of the external borders has been consistently portrayed as the necessary corollary of the lifting of checks at the internal borders between Member States. Initially, the lifting of the internal borders proceeded on the basis of minimum harmonisation, mutual recognition, and operational cooperation. Until this very day, Member States themselves remain responsible for their respective part of the external borders. This approach has been questioned in recent years, in which borderless travel has come under great pressure due to the threat of terrorist attacks, the 2015 refugee crisis, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic. As Member States resorted to a reinstatement of internal border controls, the call for a reinforcement of the external borders grew louder. Even if the introduction of a ‘shared responsibility’ for the management of the external borders under the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) Regulation of 2015 does not absolve Member States of the responsibility for their own borders, it does underline how they manage their borders serving a common interest, within an increasingly harmonised substantive and institutional framework.
This contribution first provides an overview of the regulatory framework for the management of the external borders and discusses in more detail the substantive rules for crossing the external borders.This is followed by a closer look at the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (‘Frontex’ or ‘the Agency’), that has become the European spider in the web of national border guard authorities. A next section examines the accountability questions that flow from this multi-level structure of European border management. After that the rules for the reinstatement of internal borders and the exercise of police controls in border areas will be discussed. The concluding section will provide a brief outlook on the basis of trends identified in this chapter.
Keywords: Schengen, External Borders, Border Control, Frontex
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