The article focuses on the normative, institutional, and operational design of the European Union as an area where a considerable part of internal security is based on state-of-the-art technologies and large-scale information systems. This is followed by an analysis of the legal challenges arising from the establishment of so-called smart borders, i.e. borders involving automated border control and the interoperability of all large-scale information systems.
The article poses two fundamental research questions. Firstly: how do these new phenomena affect the effectiveness of management of the external borders in the EU? Secondly: are the existing legal frameworks able to bear the changes that are occurring? It seems that the aspiration towards interoperability may cause tensions underlying the establishment and functioning of the area of freedom, security, and justice (AFSA) in the EU – if the EU’s information systems become more and more interoperable, then the EU legal order may become less and less consistent with them.