The European Union is looking to take a decisive step in establishing a more proactive border control in light of rising concern’s over the union’s security.
Frontex, the EU’s current border authority, could soon be in the past. The body largely has an assisting role and its power depends on the willingness and ability of the member states to provide manpower and resources. With Frontex reporting that 1.55 million people illegally crossed European borders in the first 11 months of 2015, the state of border policing could soon change.
The European Commission suggested on Tuesday the creation of a new border and coastguard agency, the proposed European Border and Coast Guard would include a 1,500 staff of “experts that can be deployed in under 3 days” and a force of 1,000 permanent officers by 2020 according to the EU’s official press release outlining the plan.
Increased manpower as well as permanent resources and equipment would not be the only difference with Frontex. Among the most significant functions would the agency’s authority to intervene in critical situations developing at a country’s external borders.
“Member States can request joint operations and rapid border interventions, and deployment of the European Border and Coast Guard Teams, specifically where deficiencies persist or where a Member State is under significant migratory pressure putting in peril the Schengen area and national action is not forthcoming or not enough. This will allow the Agency to step in and deploy European Border and Coast Guard Teams to ensure that action is taken on the ground even when a Member State is unable or unwilling to take the necessary measures, ” the press release notes.
The new agency would also assist in ensuring successful returns of migrants to their homelands.
This is only a draft proposal and needs to be ratified by the union’s member-states before coming into effect. Given that the proposal has not been officially discussed by these member states, it is still uncertain if and when this new agency would come to be.
You can read the complete press release with the suggested agency’s responsibility here.