The European Union has given its final approval to the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG). The new body is born focusing on the establishment of an operational strategy for an integrated external borders management and the coordination of assistance from all Member States.
Robert Kaliňák, Minister for the Interior of Slovakia and current President of the Council, said "I welcome the speed and the efficiency with which the Council and the Parliament have acted on this important issue. The way we manage our external borders directly affects the entire Schengen area, including its internal borders. The European Border and Coast Guard will help us better face today's challenges together. Only with effective management of our external borders can we return to normality within Schengen. There is no other way."
According to the Council, EBCG will ensure the effective management of migration flows and provide a high level of security for the EU. At the same time it will help safeguard free movement within the EU and respect fully Fundamental Rights.
It will consist of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (the Agency, the current Frontex agency with expanded tasks) and those National authorities responsible for border management.
EBCG has been entrusted the following tasks for meeting its strategic goal:
- Drafting of vulnerability assessment of Member States' border control capacity.
- Organising joint operations and rapid border interventions to strengthen the capacity of the Member States control of external borders, and to tackle challenges at the external borders resulting from illegal immigration or cross-border crime assisting the Commission in the coordination of support teams when a Member State faces disproportionate migratory pressures at specific points on its external borders, ensuring a practical response in cases requiring urgent action.
- Providing technical and operational assistance in support of search and rescue operations for persons in distress at sea during border surveillance operations.
- Helping establish a rapid reserve pool of at least 1500 border guards.
- Appointing liaison officers of the Agency in Member States.
- Organising, coordinating and conducting return operations and interventions.
- Promoting operational cooperation between Member States and third countries on border management.
The seat of the Agency shall be Warsaw, Poland, subject to the implementation of a headquarters agreement.
See the picture above with the contributions to be provided by each Member State, to the minimum total number of 1,500 border guards and other relevant staff.