The European Union (EU) has responded to changing security threats by seeking to increase cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the Member States, granting further powers to Europol and other intelligence-sharing institutions, and by undertaking police missions beyond EU borders. The literature relating to EU policing is generally focused on the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ dimensions, or on specific aspects of police activity. This tendency to concentrate on narrow or isolated areas of policing has led to a significant gap regarding the broader analysis of the EU as a comprehensive police actor. Important questions about the nature of EU policing as a whole, as well as the contribution of policing activities to the EU’s security agenda, remain unexplored in the literature. This article aims to define what is meant by ‘comprehensive policing’ and to indentify criteria by which the comprehensiveness of EU-level policing may be measured. In addition to this, an integrated actorness/police comprehensiveness framework will be presented as a tool for assessing the EU as a comprehensive police actor.
European integration, Security, Police, Actorness
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