Abstract: This article contributes to the discussion about border security in the Schengen Area, particularly regarding the dramatic increase of illegal immigration since 2013. It first outlines the competency of the European Union regarding protection of Schengen’s external borders and identifies the objectives of EU policies. The article goes on to critically analyse the concept of ‘EU Integrated Border Management,’ showing that it is hardly applicable to strategic policy making. There is no official, comprehensive and up-to-date definition of the concept; moreover, it is used inconsistently across EU political and legal documents. Therefore, the article argues that the concept of a border security system should be adopted as both a framework for analysis and a conceptual structure for EU policymaking. The final section of the article defines the functions of a border security system as follows. In the area of prevention there are functions of (1) deterrence of the potential flow and (2) prevention of the attempted flow; in the area of interdiction there is the located function of (3) interdiction of the immediate attempted flow at the borders, either at border crossing points or in between them; lastly, in the area of removal, there are functions of (4) apprehension of the illegal flow and (5) apprehension of the illegal population for the purpose of (6) removal of these unauthorised immigrants or residents from the protected territory.

Keywords: Europian Union, Schengen Area, border security, illegal immigration