The external dimension of the EU's area of freedom, security and justice

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As an international actor the European Union is engaged in a number of legal relations with non-Member States and other international organisations, but the specific domains of the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (hereinafter AFSJ) cause the EU to act beyond the classic areas of international cooperation (‘external action’) such as trade and development cooperation and foreign security and defence policy. The new projection of the Union as an actor in the fields of the AFSJ, therefore, have raised a series of questions which have been long left unanswered and which – because of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009 – finally require a sound assessment. Thus, rather than dealing with more classical questions, such as the division of competences between the Union and its Member States, this emerging field of EU action raises questions that are more directly related to the constitutional dimension of the Union, such as ‘the balance between protection of human rights and civil liberties on the one hand and the States' interest in public order, security and migration control on the other’.

The AFSJ was introduced as a policy field by the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1999. It replaced the earlier reference to ‘justice and home affairs’ (JHA) introduced by the Maastricht Treaty. Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the AFSJ concept appears as the second Treaty objective in Article 3 TEU.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrime within the area of freedom, security and justice
Subtitle of host publicationa European public order
EditorsChristina Eckes, Theodore Konstadinides
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)9781107002159
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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