Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance

ACELG Discussion Group: Session 6

01Feb2010 23:00


Tuesday, 2 February 2010, 1 p.m. University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law, room E 3.03

Building Borders

The following paper will be discussed:

Jorrit Rijpma, "Building Borders: the Regulatory Framework for the Management of the External Borders of the European Union"


Jorrit Rijpma will present part of his thesis which examines the EU's regulatory framework for the management of its external borders. His thesis starts from the premise that territorial borders retain their importance in public international law. It is argued that there are in fact two sets of external borders in EU law: those of the area in which the rules on the free movement of persons apply, and those of the Schengen area. The thesis examines the border crossing rights under the two corresponding sets of rules in detail.

The focus then shifts to the way in which the management, understood as the checks and surveillance of the Schengen borders, is taking place. The thesis first of all discusses the rationale behind the EU's interest in borders. It examines the legislative acquis adopted for the management of the external borders and explores the relation between legislation and executive action in this area. An in depth examination of the organisation and functioning of the "European Border Agency" (Frontex) serves to illustrate the progressive communitarisation of this policy field, the role of the various institutional actors and the legal pitfalls of an approach that furthers European integration through practical cooperation. A final chapter looks at the external dimension of the management of the external borders, distinguishing between the EU's relations with third countries for the purpose of managing the external borders, the exportation of Community standards and extra-territorial operational activities.

It is concluded that the management of the external borders takes place in a much more complex and uncertain legal framework than is often assumed. Whilst border management should be a part of or rather complementary to a Common European Asylum and Migration policy, it risks becoming a substitute for it. Even where legislation is adopted, it has a strong operational character, carrying risks in terms of accountability and legitimacy. Legislation in this area is both far-reaching and ill-thought through at the same time.

On the author

Jorrit Rijpma has written his thesis at the European University Institute in Florence. He has been teaching at the Europa Institute of the University of Leiden since august 2009.

Venue and registration

Venue: University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law, room E 3.03
Time and Date: Tuesday, 2 February January 2010, 1 p.m.

Everybody is warmly invited to join. However, participants are expected to have read the paper in order to to be able to fully engage in the discussion.

If you do wish to attend, please sign up to request the papers.

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