Law and Policy
Edited by Herwig C.H. Hofmann, Ellen Vos and Merijn Chamon
Chapter 5: Normative Power Frontex? Assessing agency cooperation with third countries
Human rights groups frequently criticize Frontex and the legality of the agency’s operations have been questioned. Recent studies have shown that humanitarian concerns are increasingly emphasized in Frontex communications, however. Drawing on the concept of ‘Normative Power Europe’, this chapter assesses Frontex’s cooperation with third countries with a focus on one norm: respect for fundamental rights. It examines to what extent Frontex exhibits a genuine commitment to fundamental rights implementation and acts in a normative way - that is, applies universal norms and shows willingness to consider the experiences of third countries. It suggests that Frontex has moved towards a more genuine commitment to fundamental rights implementation, and that there is a fair degree of inclusivity and reflexivity as regards third country cooperation. However, the possibility of conflicts of interest as well as discrepancies between declarations on paper and activities on the ground may stand in the way of the agency exercising normative power.
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