Euro­pean Bor­der and Coast Guard Agency launched in Bulgaria

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Min­is­ter for Home Af­fairs and Na­tional Se­cu­rity Carmelo Abela, in his ca­pac­ity as up­com­ing pres­i­dent of the Jus­tice and Home Af­fairs Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union, yes­ter­day took part in the launch of the Euro­pean Bor­der and Coast Guard Agency at the Bul­gar­ian Turk­ish bor­der cross­ing point of Kap­i­tan An­dreevo.

The agency has ex­tended the man­date of the Euro­pean Agency for the Man­age­ment of Op­er­a­tional Co­op­er­a­tion at the Ex­ter­nal Bor­ders of the mem­ber states of the Euro­pean Union (Fron­tex), which has since 2004 been co­or­di­nat­ing the op­er­a­tional co­op­er­a­tion of EU mem­ber states at the ex­ter­nal bor­ders.

While the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the man­age­ment of the ex­ter­nal bor­ders re­mains pri­mar­ily with the mem­ber states, the Agency – which will con­tinue to be com­monly called Fron­tex – will sup­port bor­der con­trol at land, air and sea bor­ders by re­in­forc­ing, as­sess­ing and co­or­di­nat­ing ac­tions of mem­ber states at the Union’s ex­ter­nal bor­ders.

It will co­or­di­nate the de­ploy­ment of tech­ni­cal equip­ment and spe­cialised bor­der guards to those EU coun­tries fac­ing an in­creased mi­gra­tory pres­sure. The Agency will be able to draw on a re­serve pool of a min­i­mum of 1,500 bor­der guards that can be de­ployed in four days. Malta will be con­tribut­ing six ex­perts to this pool.

Min­is­ter Abela said: “Fron­tex now has a stronger man­date and will have the nec­es­sary re­sources to help mem­ber states se­cure the EU’s ex­ter­nal bor­ders when they need as­sis­tance. We are look­ing for­ward to the op­er­a­tional set-up of the Agency. It is, of course, not an easy task but if all stake­hold­ers make the ef­fort to im­ple­ment their com­mit­ments, it is pos­si­ble to make it hap­pen.”

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