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.
Aiming to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the Europe 2020 strategy emphasises skills investment, training, health and safety at work, and other factors that could improve living and working conditions in Europe. These priorities are closely related to the work of three EU agencies: Cedefop, Eurofound and EU-OSHA. Whereas these agencies cannot directly formulate policy, they can influence policy-makers and play an important role at the implementation stage. Given their fields of activity and their tripartite governance structures, these agencies ought to be in a strong position to act as political entrepreneurs. This chapter explores political entrepreneurship of these agencies with regard to the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy. It concludes that all three agencies act entrepreneurially by applying existing expertise to new situations, and show an ambition to use their networks in entrepreneurial ways. Cedefop’s and EU-OSHA’s development of electronic tools is another example of political entrepreneurship.