The Limits of the “Agency Governance” in Managing Migration: Analysis of the EU’s Hot Spot Approach at the Greece Borders

Friday, July 14, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - G466 (University of Glasgow)
Satoko Horii , Economics and International Studies, University of Buckingham
One of the novel features of the EU’s response to the unprecedented migratory pressures at the Mediterranean borders is the increased role of, and the coordination among, four EU agencies: Frontex (border management), the European Asylum Support Office (asylum), Europol (police cooperation) and Eurojust (judicial cooperation). This is the main pillar of the “hot spot” approach in the EU’s European Agenda on Migration. This approach has been implemented at the Greek and Italian border areas to intensify resources for the smooth handling of migrants and asylum seekers and the implementation of the refugee relocation scheme.


How does this new European approach, which emphasises the inter-EU agency coordination, contribute to addressing the challenges facing the EU? By looking at what role the EU agencies have played and under which political and institutional pressures they work, this article explains the limits that the EU has embraced in its attempts to solve the migration inflow. It argues that the inter-EU agency coordination has faced the limitations due to the following factors: diverging member states’ approach to the “agency governance”, the under-developed roles and unclear coordination framework; and the contrasting goals that each of EU agencies hold. Analysis is made based on the examination of official documents and the interviews with officials of the EU agencies, national authorities, international organisations and NGOs who are engaged in the implementation of the hot spot approach at the Greek borders.

  • Horii_CES Glagow Conference 2017.pdf (761.8 kB)