Experimentalist but not Accountable Governance? The Role of Frontex in Managing the EU’s External Borders

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Series Details Vol.32, No.5, September, 2009, p904-924
Publication Date September 2009
ISSN 0140-2382
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Abstract: In 2005 the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (Frontex) was founded. Contrary to the widely used principal-agent approaches, it is more promising to analyse Frontex through the lens of experimentalist governance. This paper has two lines of argument. First, it argues that Frontex may only succeed if Frontex has a sufficient degree of organisational independence and enjoys appropriate and steady support by all member states. This is especially virulent when many member states fail to provide significant contributions in terms of material and human resources as well as time, leading to a suboptimal reduction of duration, scope and operational impact of Frontex's missions. The second argument is concerned with the accountability of Frontex. Contrary to the experimental approach, this article takes a sceptical stance, arguing that important (supra-)national actors are sidelined and relevant legal rules are ignored.

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