EU Border Security and Migration into the European Union: FRONTEX and Securitisation through Practices

Sarah Leonard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article examines the contribution of the activities of FRONTEX, the Agency
    in charge of managing operational cooperation at the external borders of the
    European Union (EU), to the securitisation of asylum and migration in the EU. It
    does so by applying a sociological approach to the study of securitisation processes, which, it argues, is particularly well-suited to the study of securitisation processes in the EU. Such an approach privileges the study of securitising practices over securitising ‘speech acts’ in securitisation processes. After identifying two main types of securitising practices in general, the article systematically examines the activities of FRONTEX and the extent to which they can be seen as securitising practices on the basis of these two (non-mutually exclusive) criteria. The article shows that all the main activities of FRONTEX can be considered to be securitising practices. The article therefore concludes that the activities of FRONTEX contribute to a significant extent to the ongoing securitisation of asylum and migration in the EU. It also highlights that this does not automatically make FRONTEX a significant securitising actor in its own right
    and that more research is needed on the relations between FRONTEX and the
    EU institutions, especially in the light of the current negotiations aiming to
    amend the founding Regulation of FRONTEX.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)231-254
    Number of pages24
    JournalEuropean Security
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010



    • Border security
    • European Union
    • Migration
    • Securitisation

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