A principal-agent analysis of inter-agency cooperation in EU border management

Yichen Zhong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the wake of the 2015 Migration Crisis, the European Union has embarked on an extensive process to reinforce external border controls and make horizontal cooperation between EU agencies critical. This article leverages the principal-agent model to elucidate the impact of inter-agency cooperation on agency autonomy and, by extension, the management of the EU’s external borders. The findings reveal that inter-agency cooperation leads to a situation in which the participating agencies enjoy more room for manoeuvre than originally granted by the EU legislature. This research sheds light on the proactive efforts of the concerned agencies in working alongside their counterparts to bolster their institutional standing and policy turf, thereby fuelling the institutionalisation of joint implementation in EU border management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of European Integration
Early online date20 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or
with their consent.


  • EU agencies
  • border management
  • inter-agency cooperation
  • the principal-agent model


Dive into the research topics of 'A principal-agent analysis of inter-agency cooperation in EU border management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this