Written by Anja Radjenovic,
The unprecedented arrival of refugees and irregular
migrants in the EU, which peaked in 2015, exposed a series of deficiencies and
gaps in EU policies on external borders. It affected the functioning of the
Schengen rules, leading to the re-introduction
of border checks by several Member States. In response to these challenges, as
well as the surge in terrorist and serious cross-border crime activities, the
EU has embarked on a broader process of reform aimed at strengthening its
external borders by reinforcing the links between border controls and security.
On the one hand, measures for protecting the EU’s external borders have focused on reinforcing EU border management rules, such as the Schengen Borders Code, and strengthening and upgrading the mandates of relevant EU agencies, such as Frontex, eu-Lisa, Europol and EASO. On the other hand, in connection with a number of key shortcomings in the EU’s information systems, efforts were made to improve use of the opportunities offered by information systems and technologies for security, criminal records, and border and migration management. This included strengthening existing IT systems (SIS II, VIS, Eurodac, ECRIS-TCN), establishing new ones (ETIAS, Entry/Exit System) and improving their interoperability.
The broader mandate and the increase of activities in the area of EU border management is also reflected in the growing amounts, flexibility and diversity of EU funds, inside as well as outside the current and future EU budget.
Read this complete briefing on ‘EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protection of EU external borders‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.