chapter  5
12 Pages

Externalising the policy against trafficking in human beings

When supranationality meets its limits
WithChloé Brière

The European Union has developed, together with the EU Member States, an ambitious policy aiming at preventing and combating trafficking in human beings. This policy is firstly directed at supporting Member States’ efforts to address this form of crime within the European Union, but the EU has also developed its external dimension, focusing on enhancing cooperation with third countries and international organisations. This chapter focuses on a legal appraisal of the efforts at externalisation carried out by the EU on the basis of the competences at its disposal. In doing so, the chapter aims to illustrate how the EU competences in this field constitute a representative example of the complexity and fragmentation faced by the EU when externalising one of its policies relating to the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and how such complexity and fragmentation are linked to the limits of supranationality in a sensitive policy area. After briefly defining the EU’s counter-trafficking acquis, the analysis focuses on the scope and nature of the external competences at the EU’s disposal to promote its counter-trafficking policy externally. The analysis then addresses the limits of the EU’s competences and the importance of coherence. Finally, in the conclusion, the most recent developments marked by the use of new tools and means to combat human trafficking are examined as they demonstrate the limits of supranationality and the desire of EU Member States to keep closer control over counter-trafficking action.