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This article looks at how the Lisbon Treaty will affect the
management of the EU’s external borders. It examines the current
treaty framework and the way in which the Community has made
use of its powers in this policy fi eld. It discusses the changes the Lisbon
Treaty is likely to bring about and gives a short overview of how
the future management of the external borders is taking shape in the
absence of ratifi cation of the Lisbon Treaty. The underlying theme of
this contribution is the distinction between legislation and operational
co-operation in this policy fi eld. It points out a number of problems
with the approach of fostering integration in the Area of Freedom, Security
and Justice through operational co-operation. It is argued that
the Lisbon Treaty fails to provide a sounder legal framework for the
EU’s joint operational activity in the AFSJ as a whole and the management
of the external borders in particular.