European Foreign Affairs Review

Volume 20 (2015)

Volume 20 (2015) / Issue 1

Juan Santos Vara, 'The External Activities of AFSJ Agencies: The Weakness of Democratic and Judicial Controls' (2015) 20 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 1, pp. 118–136


The substantial autonomy enjoyed by Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) agencies in developing their external relations does not mean that they are immune to political nor judicial controls. Given the fact that from the perspective of fundamental rights AFSJ agencies are acting in a particularly sensitive area, it is essential that their activities are subject to democratic control and remain fully accountable. As a result of the vast diversity of EU agencies in place, analysing the legal nature of their external action can prove to be a particularly complex task. The aim of this article is to examine the legal and political framework of the external dimension of AFSJ agencies as a whole, on the basis of the external relations developed so far. In the light of the implications that the activities of AFSJ agencies may have for fundamental rights, it is submitted that the governance and control of this kind of agencies continue to raise many concerns. Unfortunately, in the new Strategic Guidelines for legislative and operational planning of AFSJ for the period between 2015 and 2019 no attention is paid to the legal and political framework of the external dimension of AFSJ agencies.

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ISSN: 1384-6299
ID: EERR2015008