National states, common borders: Future of border management in Europe
The Schengen zone is facing what some may say is an existential challenge. Last year, several Member States resorted to reinstating controls at Europe’s internal borders to deal with the highest migrant pressure since Second World War.
Will Europe’s response in the form of the EU-Turkey agreement help save the border-free area and set a new precedent for border management? Will some Member States continue to resort to internal border controls? Or will the current crisis lead to a stronger, re-booted Schengen zone with a more integrated approach to controlling Europe’s borders?
More powers, more responsibilities: New Frontex mandate
The proposal to transform Frontex into the European Border and Coast Guard will give the agency several new powers that are meant to improve its ability to assist Member States facing migratory pressure at their external borders. These will include a pool of border guards and technical equipment it will be able to deploy quickly and the ability to cooperate with neighbouring third countries.
Will these new tools prove sufficient to deal with future challenges at the external borders? Are they all necessary and will Member States agree to a stronger Frontex?
Hotspots: Interagency response to migratory pressure
In 2015, Europe witnessed unprecedented numbers of migrants and refugees at its external borders. To face these challenges, five European Union agencies were mandated by the European Commission to develop a coordinated support package and deliver assistance with registration, identification and asylum processing through the creation of European Regional Task Force (EURTF).
During the debate, the panellists will discuss how the concept of hotspots has evolved since last year, what the specific roles of European Agencies are and whether EURTF and hotspots are the adequate response to the current situation in Italy and Greece.
Full cycle of border management – Role of Frontex in returns
Many persons who arrive in the European Union are eligible for international protection. However, those who do not have the right to asylum or have overstayed their visas may have to be returned to their country of origin. Frontex is beginning to play a larger role in return operations. What has changed with the introduction of the EU-Turkey agreement? Is Frontex involved in the readmissions process? The panellists will discuss the roles of national authorities, third countries and Frontex in returns.