EU-North Africa relations in cross-border law enforcement: new legal challenges for the EU in the post-Lisbon and post-Stockholm era

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The Stockholm Programme, allied to the Lisbon Treaty, heralds a new era of development of the EU provisions on cross-border law enforcement. The focus is shifting from the ongoing internal EU developments to the external relations of the EU. Many North African countries have had long legal relationships with the EU through the Euro-Mediterranean Partnerships. A number of these partnership agreements make express references, at the political level, to the development of cross-border law enforcement provision, as is the case of Morocco and Algeria with regard to drug trafficking and manufacture, or the lengthy references by Egypt to many of the crimes of interest to the EU’s own law enforcement legal framework. Algeria is currently focusing on modernising their own police forces, with both Algeria and Tunisia, reforming their criminal judicial frameworks. Another key player, Libya, currently has no legal agreements with the EU, and at least until the recent conflict, maintained an observer status in the Euro-Mediterranean process. At a practitioner level, the European Police College (CEPOL) is currently involved in the Euromed Police II programme. Clearly momentum is developing, both within the EU and from a number of Euro-Med North African countries to develop closer law enforcement co-operation. This may well develop further with the recent changes in governments of a number of North African countries. The EU approach in the Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters (PJCCM) policy area is to develop a legal framework upon which EU cross-border law enforcement will be based. The current EU cross-border law enforcement framework is the product of many years of multi-level negotiations. Challenges will arise as new countries from different legal and policing traditions will attempt to engage with already highly detailed legal and practice frameworks. The shared European legal traditions will not necessarily be reflected in the North African countries. This chapter critically analyses, from an EU legal perspective the problems and issues that will be encountered as the EU’s North African partner countries attempt to articulate into the existing, and still developing EU cross-border law enforcement framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU external relations law and policy in the post-Lisbon era
EditorsPaul J. Cardwell
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherT.M.C. Asser Press/Springer
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9789067048231
ISBN (Print)9789067048224
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • European Union
  • Africa, North


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