Why the EU Needs a True Common Border Security Policy

The news that Italy and Malta are pressing for special summits to deal with the “epic emergency” immigration resulting from the upheaval in North Africa did not surprise me. Back in 2009 I wrote to the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe 2020-2030, proposing a specific initiative for a common EU border security policy using the instruments of the Lisbon Treaty. I developed my arguments in an article that I presented at a UACES conference in the beginning of 2010, and it was published in the journal European Security.

My argument was that:

1. EU border security is not effective enough due to uneven policy implementation, and

2. Future challenges and threats may overwhelm the present institutional setting.

I went on to discuss some of the challenges based on the assumption of fundamental factors affecting human security – the changing climate (Stern 2007) and the global demographic trends (Lee 2003). I outlined a number of impending threats and concluded that the development of a true common European border security policy is urgently needed in order to develop and implement adequate holistic solutions for mitigating those threats. Sergio Carrera from CEPS has written an excellent paper on the possible creation of a common European border security service.

Now, it is true that some Member States have their own views about border security. But a strategic review of the EU’s border security policy is obviously and urgently needed. It may or may not result in a common border security service, as Carrera proposes. But it should create a comprehensive action plan that goes much beyond technological standards and ad hoc assistance.

If my analysis is even partially correct, there is no time to lose.

3 responses to “Why the EU Needs a True Common Border Security Policy

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Why the EU Needs a True Common Border Security Policy | European Union Law -- Topsy.com

  2. I don’t know if your analysis is correct, but I certainly agree with it. The Dublin agreements are a classic example of deliberative processes leading to a consensus on an issue that needs so much more than that. Shipping migrants back to the country they entered is not solving an EU-wide problem, it is solving your own.

    No wonder things get ‘a little messy’ in Greece right now. There’s no money, and I doubt whether the Greek’s goodwill is focussed on immigration policy at this moment. Turkey needs to step up its patrols as well I suppose, but they’re unlikely to do so if the EU doesn’t lower the requirements for travelling Turks.

  3. I agree with your views and the need to revise EU’s border managment policy. I think that RABIT is an important first step in regard to increased mutual assistance and solidarity between Member States. I hope there is a chance that from this improved cooperation and learning process between national border forces in “urgent situations” a genuine EU Border Management could indeed emerge in the future.

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