The Council adopted today a new regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard, an important element of the EU’s comprehensive approach to migration and border management.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is being strengthened in terms of staff and technical equipment. It is also being given a broader mandate to support member states’ activities, especially on border control, return and cooperation with third countries. The new regulation will incorporate the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) into the European Border and Coast Guard framework, to improve its functioning.
“Well-functioning management of external borders is essential in maintaining a fully functioning Schengen area and an efficient and humane management of migration. These new rules will allow Frontex to play a bigger role in supporting Member States in border control, on returns and in cooperating with third countries.” – Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior of Finland
Standing corps of border and coast guards and return experts
To ensure the coherent management of EU external borders and to be able to respond to crises, Frontex will have at its disposal a standing corps. This corps, to be established gradually, will consist of up to 10 000 operational staff by 2027. It will include operational staff members from Frontex, as well as from the member states either under long term secondments or deployed for a short time, and a reserve for rapid reaction which will be kept until the end of 2024.
The proposed rules will allow Frontex to provide technical and operational support to member states in return operations. The agency will provide support at the request of the member state concerned or on its own initiative and in agreement with the member state concerned. This support will cover all areas of return, from preparatory activities to return, post-return and post-arrival activities.
Cooperation with third countries
The proposed rules will contribute to strengthening cooperation with third countries, by giving the agency wider scope for action and not limiting the possibilities for joint operations to neighbouring countries.