The new European Border and Coast Guard has been officially launched in October 2016. In the Commission's view, it represents a historical turning point in the integrated management of EU borders. In this paper I describe the main features of the new agency, focusing on two key issues. On the one hand, I analyze the powers that the new European Border and Coast Guard was entrusted with, trying to understand whether it will be able to articulate a European space of control, policed by a truly post-national coercive apparatus. On the other hand I will try to understand whether and to what extent the emergence of a supra-national border agency is paralleled by the development of appropriate democratic controls and judicial guarantees. I will conclude by arguing that to meet the challenges posed by the evolution of justice and home affairs policies to the delicate balance between freedom, security and rights in contemporary Europe it is necessary get rid the of "methodological statism" characterizing much of the debate on the subject.