D.4.4. Policy recommendations report on managing the changing relationship between CFSP/CSDP and the jurisdiction and activities of FRONTEX

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1 D.4.4. Policy recommendations report on managing the changing relationship between CFSP/CSDP and the jurisdiction and activities of FRONTEX Deliverable submitted November 2010 (M32) in fulfillment of requirements of the FP7 Project, Converging and Conflicting Ethical Values in the Internal/External Security Continuum in Europe (INEX) International Peace PO Box 9229 Grønland T: Research Institute, Oslo NO-0134 Oslo, Norway F:

2 D.4.4. Policy recommendations report on managing the changing relationship between CFSP/CSDP and the jurisdiction and activities of Frontex By: Prof. Dr. Eva Gross, Institute for European Studies, VUB Executive Summary CFSP/CSDP activities in the borderlands increasingly concern themselves with border management. A consequence of this increasing focus is the intensified cooperation with Frontex. This means that two policy domains, but also two modes of policy implementation, increasingly interact. Several implications derive from this for the EU and its member states: on a value level, potentially conflicting policy objectives can not only lead to clashes or at the very least internal contradiction - but also weaken policy effectiveness and the EU s ability to achieve its broader political aims by means of CSDP missions as a result. To avoid such overlap, policy makers must explicitly take into consideration the broader political implications of the increasing interaction between Frontex and CFSP/CSDP in the formulation but also the implementation and evaluation of its policies. 2

3 1. Introduction The development of the CFSP/ESDP over the past decade, particularly its experience in civilian crisis management, has witnessed an increasing emphasis on the rule of law broadly defined, but specifically on border control either as part of an integrated rule of law mission such as EULEX Kosovo or through specific border missions such as EUBAM Ukraine. A consequence of the increasing focus on border management has been collaboration with Frontex, the agency tasked with the coordination of member states in the management of the EU s external borders. This collaboration, and indeed the increasing intermeshing of internal and external security concerns particularly in the European borderlands, is likely to intensify in the future. While the activities of Frontex and that of CFSP/CSDP are not necessarily conflicting 1 and can be mutually reinforcing, the potential for clashing or contradictory value assumptions and intended policy outcomes between Frontex and CFSP/CSDP activities necessitates a careful consideration and calibration of policy aims and objectives. Policy recommendations resulting from this report, therefore, stress the need for making explicit underlying value assumptions, goals and objectives in formulating and evaluating policies; and for conceptualizing and formulating policies in a comprehensive manner rather than emphasizing individual technical aspects or a specific geographical area of operation. Institutional changes in the Lisbon Treaty are designed to facilitate the increased alignment of policy competences and execution. This is a positive development but also one that makes inconsistencies costly in instances where policies pursue contradictory rather than mutually reinforcing objectives. 2. State of Play: Frontex and CFSP/CSDP Frontex, the agency tasked with the coordination of intelligence driven operational cooperation at EU level to strengthen security at external borders 2 became operational in Its mission tasks are ostensibly internally driven and include the coordination of operational cooperation between Member States in the field of 1 See INEX Deliverable D.4.2. Systematic report on the value premises and human, ethical consequences of the CFSP/ESDP in the changing environment of border security 2 See Frontex website 3

4 management of external borders; providing assistance to Member States in the training of national border guards, including the establishment of common training standards; following up the development of research relevant for the control and surveillance of external borders; and providing assistance to Member States in circumstances requiring increased technical and operational assistance at external borders. Frontex s mission to establish an integrated border management system for the EU and its member states also includes a significant external dimension that includes the management of migration flows and the fight against organized crime. Strengthening border controls in accession countries, and assisting in border missions undertaken as part of the EU CFSP/CSDP has become an increasing focus. Cooperation between Frontex and EU-led initiatives has included EUBAM Moldova and Ukraine; the EUSR Border Support Team in Georgia, as well as EULEX Kosovo. Beyond a broad overlap of policy competences and interests such as concerns over organized crime, terrorism, or the management of migration flows Frontex and CFSP/CSDP thus also interact in specific operational environments and contexts. What is more, improving coordination of activities and agencies also includes enhancing cooperation between Frontex and the European Defense Agency (EDA) in the area of maritime surveillance. These intensifying institutional relationships and areas of cooperation reflect the EU s broader preoccupation with border security, and the often fluid borders between internal and external security concerns. 3. Frontex/CFSP-CSDP cooperation in a broader political framework The focus on the technical nature of Frontex-CFSP/CSDP cooperation, which includes joint border control operations 3, easily obscures the broader political framework in which cooperation takes place, and the way in which this framework has evolved. In this respect, concerns with the strengthening of borders have resulted in the increasing securitization of migration and, with respect to the EU s Eastern borderlands, in an increasing concern with organized crime and the management of movement of people. Besides missions concerned primarily with border management such as EUBAM Moldova and Ukraine, the integrated rule of law mission EULEX Kosovo also has a border security component. This reflects the cross-cutting concern 3 See G. Dura, EUBAM Moldova-Ukraine. In: Grevi, G., Helly, D. and Keohane, D. eds. (2009). ESDP: The first 10 years ( ). Paris, EU Institute for Security Studies. 4

5 with border security in the EU s neighborhood but particularly in potential accession countries but, as the case of EULEX Kosovo illustrates, also the realization of the interconnectedness of institutional rule of law components. When it comes to the EU s Eastern neighborhood and particularly the Western Balkans, the blurring of internal and external policy objectives, along with the securitization of an increasing number of policy areas that favor the increased involvement of Frontex, risks moving the focus of the EU s policy objectives away from pre-accession assistance. The increasing concern with security in turn threatens to obscure alternative goals and motivations for the EU s engagement: that of transmitting European values as a means to anchor neighboring and particularly accession countries in the European project. In particular, this aim of transmitting European values can be said to be equally motivated by a security rationale, given that establishing the rule of law but also holding countries in the European neighborhood to the acquis communautaire represents a way of extending the European zone of peace and stability. 4. Implication for policy implementation and reception The emphasis on technical assistance and on managing migration and organized crime at the expense of the broader political framework in which these training activities take place has potentially negative effects on the sustainability of overall EU policy. The case of EULEX Kosovo provides the clearest illustration: Kosovo s unresolved status will prevent EU accession, and assistance and training provided through EULEX serves to maintain an uneasy status quo rather than moving Kosovo towards EU accession. At the same time, it maintains an emphasis on security that obscures the broader political goal pursued by the EU in the region. The case of Kosovo, but by abstraction also the relationship between an emphasis on managing borders and setting up an integrated rule of law regime poses for the EU the dilemma between state-building and gate-keeping. In a political context where statebuilding processes are not moving forward on account of political deadlocks in EU member states as well as on account of particular regional and domestic constellation, policies pursued by the EU are not serving the goal for which they were initially conceived and the focus on technical assistance without the broader political picture and end goal easily obstructs policy from moving forward. 5

6 The aversion to taking political steps but rather maintain the status quo and focus on training and, in the case of Frontex-CFSP/CSDP cooperation, border security also risks negating the EU s commitment to promoting human security in favor of protecting its border. In a context where the accession perspective is either slowed down on account of unresolved political issues or at best a long-term option, it seems appropriate to raise the question of whether EU s security interests are best served by securitizing borders rather than maintain its power of attraction to citizens and government of potential accession countries. 5. Conclusions and recommendations Given the scope of tasks undertaken as part of many CSDP missions, and the increasing pre-occupation with organized crime, international terrorism but also irregular migration flows make the collaboration between Frontex and CFSP/CSDP a natural proposition. Protecting borders is necessary, as is assisting states in the EU s Eastern neighborhood including the Balkans in establishing the rule of law as a key element in providing and maintaining stability. At the same time, the increasing scope of collaboration on an operational and an institutional level also pose a risk of continuously securitizing EU policy areas to an extent that threaten to negate the EU s value commitments to human security but also its attractiveness and therefore also its effectiveness in achieving its overarching policy goal in the region: that of EU enlargement as a means of consolidating peace and stability in the region. While the increasing cooperation and interaction between Frontex and CFPS/CSDP does not necessarily take away from this end goal, the trend towards focusing on technical assistance rather than at the broader political framework in which this assistance is placed and the extent to which it impacts said broader political framework. Rather than sidestepping important political questions and/or obstacles towards establishing good governance and the rule of law, in managing the relationship between Frontex and CFSP/CSDP policy makers must: be mindful of potential contradictions between policies and the negative effects of an exclusive focus on security; move away from emphasizing technical assistance without taking into account the broader political circumstances in which said assistances is placed; 6

7 on the level of training, include engagement with values in activities; recognize the need for stressing mutual benefits and the pursuit of European values on which cooperation between the EU and potential future member states is based; and rather than focusing on individual policy areas without regard for the broader and collective policy goals pursued, conceptualize EU policy in a comprehensive manner 7

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