OSW Studies

The Eastern External Border of the Enlarged European Union



The purpose of this report is, firstly, to analyse the functioning of the eastern borders of new EU Member States in terms of security, infrastructure, and economic and social issues. On this basis, desired modifications to the policy of border and cross-border movement management will be identified. Secondly, this paper aims to discuss the impact that the adaptation of the new Member States' legislation to the Schengen acquis will have on the movement of people across the borders, and to pinpoint the related threats and opportunities. This is of significant importance since public debate continues to be full of myths and misconceptions about the conditions at the Community's new external borders and the consequences of enlargement in this respect. Consequently, institutions in charge of cross-border co-operation and the protection of borders may be led to the wrong decisions.


This report deals with the eastern external border of the EU in geographical order, starting in the north (the Estonian-Russian border) and ending in the south (the Hungarian-Ukrainian border). The discussion of major issues relating to the borders of individual new Member States is structured as follows:

a) general information about the border;

b) border crossing points' infrastructure;

c) characterisation of movement of people and goods across the border, and the consequences of the Schengen acquis implementation in the countries that joined the EU in May 2004.