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New Border and Coast Guard Agency helps manage migration, increases security

Date

06 Jul 2016

Sections

Med & South
Security

Today the European Parliament debated the legislative proposal setting up the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. Tomorrow, MEPs will vote on it.

The European Parliament’s chief negotiator, Artis Pabriks MEP, said: "For the first time in EU history we have agreed to create an agency with 1500 border guards that could be deployed in a few days. Moreover we have set up an agency with more powers, increased responsibilities, which will provide assistance to any Member State. Nobody can force countries to accept help. But if you do not manage your borders you cannot benefit from open internal borders."

The new agency will help to manage crossings at the EU's external borders, including addressing migratory challenges and potential future threats, thereby contributing to addressing serious crime with a cross-border dimension. In short, it will ensure a high level of internal security within the Union while safeguarding the free movement of persons.

"Without the border agency it would be much more difficult for Schengen to function. The agency is not a silver bullet that can solve the migration crisis, but it is an element in building a more secure environment in the EU. It is necessary and important to strengthening our external borders, our internal security and to solving the migration crisis. The creation of the agency in such a short period of time signals that the EU can be efficient and can act when needed," Pabriks concluded.

The new European Border and Coast Guard Agency is the Frontex Agency but with expanded tasks. It will have greater powers and responsibilities and will be able to provide assistance to any EU country which is faced with disproportionate migratory pressure or any other potential challenges at its external borders. There will be an obligatory pool of 1500 border guards and a pool of technical equipment that the agency can deploy within seven days whenever needed. Crucially, if an EU country refuses to cooperate with the new agency to an extent that this puts the proper functioning of the Schengen zone into jeopardy, there will be a possibility for the other EU countries to reintroduce temporary border controls as a last resort.

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