Appendix 2: Call for evidence
Sub-Committee F (Social Affairs, Education and Home
Affairs) of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European
Union is conducting an inquiry into integrated management of the
European Union's external borders and proposals to establish a
European Border Guard. The starting point of the inquiry is a
Communication of 7 May 2002 from the European Commission to
the Council and the European Parliament Towards integrated
management of the external borders of the Member States of the
This led in June 2002 to agreement by the Council of an action
plan on external border management.
The inquiry will also examine the issues raised by an Italian-led
feasibility study into the establishment of a European Police
The Communication's premise is that there is a need
for a more homogeneous level of security at the EU's external
borders to ensure mutual confidence between the Member States.
The issue gains added importance from the forthcoming enlargement
of the EU, which will greatly extend the EU's Eastern border and
put it under the control of new Member States. The eventual aim
is the establishment of a European Corps of Border Guards. The
Communication also examines the problems faced by existing Member
States in policing long maritime borders.
The Communication identifies a number of issues
that need to be addressed in the shorter term, including:
- a common body of legislation
- a mechanism for ensuring operational co-operation
- common integrated risk analysis (including acting
with third countries)
- a harmonised curriculum and joint training for
- financial burden-sharing between Member States
The Italian-led feasibility study looked in more
detail at the steps necessary for the gradual establishment
of a European Border Guard. At Seville in June 2002 the European
Council gave a general welcome to these initiatives and called
for the work to be taken forward as a matter of urgency.
This inquiry is a follow-up to the Sub-Committee's
recent inquiry into A Common Policy on Illegal Immigration.
Evidence is invited on all aspects of
the subject. Questions on which the Sub-Committee would particularly
welcome comments include the following:
(i) What forms of co-operation between EU Member
States on external border controls already exist, and what are
their strengths and weaknesses?
(ii) Is the Commission's premise that a more homogeneous
level of security is needed at the EU's external borders
(iii) What are the implications of enlargement for
external border security?
(iv) Are the measures to enhance operational and
training co-operation proposed by the Commission sufficient
or is there a need for a degree of legal, financial and organisational
(v) Should financial burden-sharing between the Member
States take place?
(vi) If so, how and to what extent?
(vii) Has the case been made for a European Corps
of Border Guards? If it has, what would be its main benefits and
problems?What should be the nature, composition, powers and objectives
of such a body? Should it operate only at land or also at sea
(viii) What should its legal basis be?
(ix) How should it be organised, financed and trained?
(x) Should the UK participate in it? How would participation
square with the UK's opt-out from the Schengen border control
7 January 2003
94 Document COM (2002) 233 final, available on the
Commission's web-site: www.europa.eu.int. Back
Proposal of a plan for the management of the external borders
of the Member States of the European Union, document 9834/02. Back
Feasibility study for the setting up of a "European Border
Police", Final Report, Rome, May 2002. Back
HL Paper 187. Back