Hartwig, S. (2020). Frontex: From Coordinating Controls to Combating Crime. Eucrim – the European Criminal Law Associations’ Forum. doi:10.30709/eucrim-2020-010
The last few years have seen the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (“Frontex”) grow ever more central to European efforts to control the external borders. The Agency moved from a merely coordinating and supporting role to a much more operational one. Frontex now engages in tasks running the gamut from surveying the borders and returning irregular migrants to combating criminal activity. To make this possible, the financial and personnel resources at the disposal of the Agency were increased substantially. This article first sheds some light on the historical background of the Agency. It then traces the successive mandate revisions and the growth in power they entailed. The article then examines how crime fighting was introduced into Frontex’ mandate, before analysing the Agency's contribution to combating criminal activity and its implications.