EU Home Affairs Diplomacy: Why, What, Where – and How

Written by | Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Hugo Brady a Roderick Parkes (The European Union Institute for Security Studies)

EU internal affairs topics, such as border controls, fight against crime or terrorism, are often also linked to the issue of setting certain internal rules or cooperation. The EU is currently faced precisely with these challenges. Due to Europe’s geographical proximity to the Middle East, the EU is dealing with mass flows of migrants, the influence of radical Islamist groups and supra-national networks of organized crime. The Union is thus trying to invest into the interconnection of processes between internal and external security. A strengthened cooperation can, however, work only if Europeans will accept the appropriate geographical coverage, tasks and strategy.

When it comes to tasks and strategies, the EU is currently counting on the three following steps. The first one is increasing the EU’s resistance towards external shocks. That is to say that the Union still does not have an early warning system. In order to implement such a system, a deeper coordination between overseas EU missions, the Frontex agency, the EUROPOL and the Common European Asylum System (EASO) will be needed. It is further necessary to build the resistance of the Community against unexpected pressures since the EU cannot fully predict from where and when exactly future migration waves arrive (such as in Eritrea’s case).

In May 2015, the Commission moreover introduced the second of the new agendas, which concerns the strategy for migration and internal security. While this agenda should manage internal affairs of Member States, its development has been hampered from the start because the issues of migration and internal security are not internationalized to the same degree. Then problems also emerged for example during the attempt to launch cooperation – under the framework of Neighborhood Policy – with Morocco and Turkey. The third task is the integration of thematic and geographical priorities or the creation of a global EU strategy for foreign and security policies. Another sub-objective is to create an access to those countries, with whom the EU intends to develop further relations based on trade and assistance, common migration rules or military and humanitarian tools.

(The study can be downloaded here:

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