© 2016 Taylor & Francis. The development of the European Union’s Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice (AFSJ) has been identified by the Lisbon Treaty (2009) as one of the key objectives of the European Union (EU). Recent events have also highlighted the saliency of several of the policy issues at the heart of the AFSJ. Amongst them, one can mention the terrorist attacks in 2015 in Paris and the ongoing refugee crisis in the Mediterranean region. At the same time, the end of the Stockholm programme, which provided the strategic framework for the development of the AFSJ between 2010 and 2014, has been followed by the adoption of new ‘strategic guidelines’, which can only be described as a short, vague, and general document. It is therefore paradoxical that, at a time when AFSJ matters - such as asylum, migration, borders, terrorism, policing, and judicial cooperation - have never been so salient, the EU finds itself, for the first time ever, devoid of any significant, over-arching strategy for the development of its AFSJ.