27 Jan 2015

Whose Mare? Rule of law challenges in the field of European border surveillance in the Mediterranean

Sergio Carrera / Leonhard den Hertog

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This paper examines key developments in the field of European border surveillance in the Mediterranean. By asking, ‘Whose Mare?’, we focus on rule of law challenges stemming from these developments in a post-Lisbon EU. The developments examined are the Italian Navy-led Mare Nostrum operation, the debates over European ‘exit strategies’ for this operation and the ensuing launch of the Frontex Triton joint operation (JO). The recently adopted Regulation on Frontex sea border surveillance operations is also presented as a key development to understand the rule of law challenges. Moreover, the adoption of the European Union Maritime Security Strategy (MSS) and the development of several maritime surveillance systems in the EU highlight that a wide range of actors seeks authority over this field. 

Sergio Carrera is Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Unit of the CEPS. Leonhard den Hertog is a researcher within the same Unit.