21 Dec 2012

EU Home Affairs Agencies and the Construction of EU Internal Security

Joanna Parkin

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Regulatory agencies such as Europol, Frontex, Eurojust, CEPOL as well as bodies such as OLAF, have over the past decade become increasingly active within the institutional architecture constituting the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and are now placed at the forefront of implementing and developing the EU’s internal security model.  A prominent feature of agency activity is the large-scale proliferation of ‘knowledge’ on security threats via the production of policy tools such as threat assessments, risk analyses, periodic and situation reports. These instruments now play a critical role in providing the evidence-base that supports EU policy-making, with agency-generated ‘knowledge’ feeding political priority setting and decision-making within the EU’s new Internal Security Strategy (ISS). This paper examines the nature and purpose of knowledge generated by EU Home Affairs agencies. It asks from where does this knowledge originate? How does it measure against criteria of objectivity, scientific rigour, reliability and accuracy? And how is it processed in order to frame threats, justify actions and set priorities under the ISS?

Joanna Parkin is a Researcher in the Justice and Home Affairs section of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS).