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EU cross - border policing provisions, the view from one of the Schengen opt out states

Maria O'Neill

A key element of the EU area of freedom, security and justice are the EU cross- border policing provisions. The term policing however is problematic, as it covers both low and high policing. The high policing role, being the protection of the state, has been allocated to intelligence services in some EU countries, and to the police in others. In addition the direction of criminal investigations is an investigating magistrate role for some, and a senior police officer role for other EU member states. Added to this variability the differing territorial and crime competences for different police forces within a state, the devolution of the control of police forces to sub-national authorities, as is the case in the UK, with the devolution of policing to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament, and the complexity of the development of a cross border policing structure becomes to emerge, before any detail is added to the picture. This paper will adopt a constructivist approach to the development of an effective UK- EU legal framework providing for cross-border policing.

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