Faculti Media – Explaining Findings of Research on Frontex

In a video interview for Faculti Media, I examine whether the introduction of Frontex – the European Union agency for external border security – in 2004 implied a major change in the management of the EU’s border control. In the video I explain the findings of a research paper co-authored with Dr. Adriaan Schout on the subject and details the implications of this research for EU Common Migration and Border policy.

Wolff, S. and A. Schout (2013) ‘Frontex as agency: more of the same?’, Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 3:14, 305-324 is available here (pre-paper), 35 e-prints of the final article are available free of charge here

Building on the notion of ‘agencies’ as non-majoritarian instruments to professionalize (or ‘depoliticisize’) EU policy-making, this article examines whether the introduction of Frontex as an agency instrument in 2004 implied a major change in the management of the EU’s border control compared to the earlier network. Even though formal evaluations have acknowledged the positive achievements of Frontex, this article questions whether those assessments actually helps us to understand better the added value of Frontex as agency. To do so, the article draws from a legitimacy-based model to assess the added value of the agency. Input and output legitimacy are being assessed through a number of accountability mechanisms. The model is applied to predecessor of Frontex (SCIFA + /PCU) and to Frontex. We conclude that the choice for the agency instrument was not sufficiently argued and that the design of Frontex hardly offers the advantages of the agency structure.





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