There is a proposal to beef up Frontex plus possibility of establishing of some kind of EU borders corps. Would you say we need something like this, would this be beneficial in the time of the refugee crisis? Read few comments.
Andrew Geddes, Professor, Department of Politics, Co-Director, Social Sciences Migration Research Group, University of Sheffield
It would depend on what the wider purpose of such a measure are. if it is to help ensure that migration is managed in a more orderly way and that migrants’ rights are protected then it is a step in the right direction. If it is part of a move to make it harder for refugees to get to Europe than it is only likely to displace the problems to countries outside the EU that will have difficulty dealing with the challenges.
Christian Kaunert, Professor of International Politics, Director of the European Institute for Security and Justice, University of Dundee
Yes, the proposal could be useful. In general terms, it would clearly beef up the external borders, and, therefore reduce pressure. However, the proposals have come and gone on the agenda since 2001. Most member states did not want sovereignty sharing in this domain, despite increased efficiency. It was notably an idea that even precedes Frontex.
Nonetheless, given the scale of the refugee crisis globally, especially in Syria, it can contribute to the solution, but will still need many other elements, notably how to deal with the refugees that are already here. Also, it will make the external border safer, but some people will still come for as long as the conflict continues…
Artur Gruszczak, profesor nadzwyczajny UJ, Instytut Nauk Politycznych i Stosunków Międzynarodowych, Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie
The French proposal you’ve mentioned echoes British ideas formulated in the early 2000s. At that time it was opposed by several Member States and was quit. Nowadays France’s proposal is still unclear in a sense that it assumed an ‘evolution’ towards a ‘system of border guards’ and the central coordinating role played be Frontex. It does not raise the issue of responsibility for the control and protection of EU external borders which, as we know, is still in the hands of the governments of Member States. Without changing this principle it is highly problematic to establish a European border corps and endow it with strong competences with regard to the management of the external borders. Moreover, now Frontex is already capable to form and deploy RABITs (rapid border intervention teams) and European border guards teams in a support capacity and completely subordinated to national border guard authorities of the receiving state. To set up another EU border guard unit looks like the multiplication of entities. In a nutshell, I see Monsieur Cazeneuve’s proposal as an attempt to turn the resting Member States’ attention to the acute need to strengthen EU capabilities with regard to protection and control of external borders through allowing European border teams to be deployed in troublesome areas where national guards do not manage properly their sections of EU external borders in face of migratory pressure, refugee flows or human smuggling.