CHALLENGE Research Paper No. 6 / 35 pages
Within the context of the fifth enlargement of the EU, the increasing securitisation of JHA policies and the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice, the issue of integrated border management (IBM) has become crucial since 2001. Building upon the existing fragmented framework, the creation of the FRONTEX Agency brings an innovative and tailor-made institutional response designed by the Council Regulation No. 2007/2004/EC in order to promote burden sharing, solidarity and mutual trust between the Member States in the operational management of the EU’s external borders. Despite no direct operational powers, the FRONTEX Agency has been assigned a large array of competences in various sectors including a pioneering mission of coordination of operational cooperation and a controversial task of assisting joint return operations. This paper addresses fundamental questions related to the issue of integrated border management. It seeks to assess the role and limits of the FRONTEX Agency in the operational management of the EU’s external borders in order to examine in what way the creation of this 19th European agency embodies a decisive step forward towards the construction of an EU common policy on external borders.