The other Frontex debate: how border geopolitics will define the future of Schengen


By Roderick Parkes

FRONTEX, the European borders agency, is in the news again, accused of helping push back migrants at the external EU border, pressing partner countries into dubious practices and other controversies. But the debate in the European Parliament and public sphere about “who guards the guards” does not fully capture the problem. The debate is legalistic. But the Schengen Area, the EU’s passport-free travel zone, is a geopolitical construction; and the European Commission and member states treat FRONTEX primarily as a tool of their preferred form of border geopolitics. The constitutional debate cannot resolve this behaviour, at least not until it takes account of the five main vectors of Europe’s border geopolitics.

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