FOREWORD The aim of a wiki-lex exercise launched by Statewatch and FREE Group is to make easier monitoring the legislative preparatory work at EU level notably when so called “trilogues” start and it is not clear who is proposing what in view of a possible early compromise already when the European Parliament adopt its formal position (so called “first reading agreement”) or later when the Council in turn adopt its own position and the EP do not submit new amendments (“early second reading agreements”). NOTA BENE : THIS POST IS ALSO PUBLISHED AS AN INDEPENDENT PAGE ON THIS BLOG
The idea of establishing an European System of Border Guards (ESBG) has to be seen in the context of the long-term quest/search for an appropriate governance structure to ensure the management of EU external borders. The process had started with the new competences granted to the EU by the Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 as re-indorsed by the Tampere Conclusions of 1999 pushed forward into the limelight of public attention by the events of 9/11 and debated during the negotiations of the draft Constitutional Treaty  and thereafter mirrored in the Lisbon Treaty.
Since then, Article 77 (1)(c) TFEU codified at Treaty level the objective of “..the gradual introduction of an integrated management system for external borders.“ Article 80 of the same Treaty made clear that: “The policies of the Union set out in this Chapter and their implementation shall be governed by the principle of solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility, including its financial implications, between the Member States”.
It is worth noting that until now the notion of “integrated management system for external borders” (IBM) has not yet been translated in the EU legislation even if the Council has already in its 2006 Conclusions highlighted some of its possible composing elements . Yet still – despite the need unanimously recognized by the European institutions to create a “mechanism or common services to control external borders” – subsequent studies undertaken by Commission and Council were not able to conclusively resolve the question of whether there should be more of an “integrated force model” or rather a “network of national border forces”.
The issue came back on the Institutions agenda in 2013 when the new governance framework of Schengen as been adopted and a closer interaction between national Border Guards and Frontex has been established in the framework of the Rapid Border Intervention Team in specific sections of the borders and overall in the framework of EUROSUR.
Already at that time the need of more coordinated interventions and procedure in case of emergency in case of extraordinary pressure on specific sections of the Schengen external borders was debated and a first set of amendments was adopted in the Schengen Border Code by charging FRONTEX of regularly monitor the EU external borders as well as detecting the possible external threats. In parallel with this security-led evolution the EU has also adopted, notwithstanding the reservations of some Member States (FR, Malta, …) the first set of rules for search and rescue in international waters in the framework of joint operations coordinated by Frontex (EU Regulation 656/14) by acknowledging the importance of that agency in protecting fundamental rights (such as the right to life).
THE NEW LEGISLATIVE PROCEDURE
(A) The COMMISSION PROPOSAL Continue reading