EU set to create European Border and Coast Guard
The European Parliament, Council and Commission have reached an agreement, endorsed by the Council today, on the Commission's proposal on a European Border and Coast Guard, paving the way for the reinforced Agency to be up and running starting this summer, European Commission said Wednesday.
The European Border and Coast Guard will combine a new reinforced Agency, building on the foundations laid by Frontex, with the ability to draw on a reserve pool of people and equipment. Member States will continue to keep their competence and sovereignty over their borders. They will continue to manage the external border day to day. But crucially, the European Border and Coast Guard will provide support to all Member States and be able to identify and intervene to address weaknesses in advance, and not when it's too late.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "The agreement on the creation of a European Border and Coast Guard shows that Europe is able to act swiftly and resolutely to deal with common challenges. This is an idea whose time has clearly come: The Commission said it back in May 2014, and I said it during my election campaign – that we need to strengthen Frontex significantly and develop it into a fully operational European Border and Coast Guard system. The Commission has been working constructively with our partners in the European Parliament and Council since we tabled the proposal last December and I would like to thank in particular the Dutch Presidency, my First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos for their tireless work on this important project that will show to the world: As of now, Europe treats the protection of its borders as a common mission of solidarity."
The European Border and Coast Guard will provide the missing link to strengthen Europe's external borders, so that people can continue to live and move freely within the European Union – helping live up to Europe's commitment to get back to the normal functioning of the Schengen area and the lifting of temporary internal border controls by the end of the year, as set out in the Commission's Back to Schengen Roadmap of 4 March.
The establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard, as announced by President Juncker in his State of the Union Speech on 9 September 2015, is part of the measures under the European Agenda on Migration to reinforce the management and security of the EU's external borders.
On 15 December 2015, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for the creation of a European Border and Coast Guard, building on Frontex.
The proposal, backed by the European Parliament and Council today, will help to manage migration more effectively, improve the internal security of the European Union, and safeguard the principle of free movement of persons. The establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard will ensure a strong and shared management of the external borders.