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FRONTEX: ENTRE COOPÉRATION INTERGOUVERNEMENTALE AU NIVEAU DES ÉTATS MEMBRES ET MÉTHODE COMMUNAUTAIRE

Abstract : With the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice without internal borders between the EU’s member states, the issue of an external borders integrated management has become crucial. In this context, the field of external borders has experienced a progressive communitarisation, the creation of the European Agency FRONTEX bringing an adequate institutional response to the challenges posed by the phenomenon of illegal immigration through the common external borders. Based on Council Regulation No 2007/2004, as amended by Council Regulation No 863/2007, FRONTEX is an EU first pillar institutional mechanism aiming at the coordination of the operational cooperation between national border related forces. The FRONTEX regulation is considered to be a further development of the Schengen acquits. While the responsibility for the control of external borders still lies within the member states, FRONTEX is invested with a mission focused on tackling illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings, in particular in the very sensitive southern maritime borders which constitute one of the main targets addressed by the Agency. Thus, FRONTEX executive powers clearly impact on the Law of the Sea and individual freedoms matters. In fact, obligations flow from the respect of the principle of non-refoulement in many situations where member states’ vessels implement interception or research and rescue measures when engaged in joint operations taking place within sea zones coming on the member states’ sovereignty or jurisdiction or the high sea or within the waters of third countries. Within this framework, the treatment of refugees and immigrants who are intercepted on their way to the EU remains a question to be answered as far as measures taken at a national and/or Community level make full respect of human rights and a case-by-case assessment for refugee status difficult. This paper seeks to illustrate the role and limits of FRONTEX’s competences while keeping in mind that the Law of the Sea Convention and Fundamental Rights are the core sources of any EU external borders management. In conclusion, the creation of the European Agency FRONTEX can surely be regarded as an important and innovative step towards the construction of an EU external borders integrated management policy.
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Theodoros Katsoufros. FRONTEX: ENTRE COOPÉRATION INTERGOUVERNEMENTALE AU NIVEAU DES ÉTATS MEMBRES ET MÉTHODE COMMUNAUTAIRE. Mosella : revue du Centre d'études géographiques de Metz, Université de Metz, 2010, Actes du colloque Frontières et Aménagement, 32 (1-4). ⟨hal-03053237⟩

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