Frontex and the evolution of cooperation on European border controls

Horii, Satoko (2015) Frontex and the evolution of cooperation on European border controls. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This dissertation explores the role of the EU agency Frontex in the EU border regime. Contrary to the mainstream formulation in academic research which views that Frontex is a mere tool of EU member states and did not change the intergovernmental cooperation, this dissertation has pursued the agency’s potential in bringing integrative effect on the regime. To this aim, this dissertation has used the sociological institutionalist approach as it provides a theoretical basis for defining the EU border regime and explaining the nature and mechanisms that Frontex has exercised to influence the regime.

By looking at Frontex’s activities in mobilisation of state border agencies, promotion of common standards and producing risk analysis at external borders, this research has found that Frontex has had integrative effects on the regime with certain limitations. Empirical analyses have shown that a set of procedures and mechanisms that Frontex has developed have increased the participation of state border agencies in EU’s border guard activities, which implies the shift of the initial intergovernmental cooperation to a more structured form of cooperation. It has also found that, although the outcome has been unevenly spread in Europe, Frontex has acted as an agent of transfer in promoting common standards for border guard training curriculums and automated border control systems. Moreover, Frontex has effectively transformed the politically defined “risks” at the EU’s external border to measureable terms at an operational level, which has enabled the classification of the EU member states. This dissertation has observed the effect of the agency’s risk analysis in the policy makers’ decisions.

These findings conclude that, although it is still of a hybrid nature that has derived from contradicting elements between state-centric and supranational forces, Frontex has certainly changed the regime towards integration. In this context, this dissertation has enriched the understanding of institutional and organisational dynamics in a EU policy field and the role that EU agencies can play in it.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: K Law > KJ Europe
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2015 12:53
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2015 12:53

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