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European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the EU - EUR-Lex

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European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the EU

Free movement in a border-free Schengen area is a fundamental right of European Union citizens. With the abolition of the Union’s internal borders came the need for the external borders to be managed more strictly to ensure the regulation of population flows.

ACT

Regulation (EU) No 1168/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders.

SUMMARY

Frontex, the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (EU) became operational in 2005. Its role is to improve the integrated management of the Union’s external borders and enhance cooperation between national border authorities. It is based in Warsaw, Poland.

In 2011, following an evaluation of its work and in response to calls to strengthen its role and operational capacities as regards the fight against illegal immigration from the Council and European Council (including in the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum adopted in 2008 and in the Stockholm Programme adopted in 2009), the original act establishing Frontex was amended, thus enhancing the Agency's possibilities to increase cooperation.

Tasks

Frontex's main tasks are:

  • planning and coordination of joint operations conducted using member countries’ staff and equipment at sea, land and air external borders,
  • coordination of joint return operations of foreign nationals,
  • drawing up common training standards and tools for national border guards,
  • carrying out of risk analyses (e.g. regularly assessing countries’ capacity to face threats and pressures at their external borders),
  • assisting member countries requiring increased technical and operational assistance at external borders (e.g. humanitarian emergencies and rescue at sea or when certain countries face specific and disproportionate pressures on their borders),
  • creating European Border Guard Teams (EBGTs) to be deployed during joint operations, pilot projects and rapid interventions,
  • developing a rapid response capability: this involves the EBGTs, as well as a database of available equipment and resources to be deployed in the event of a crisis situation.

Operational plan

An operational plan (drawn up prior to joint operations and pilot projects) should include tasks and responsibilities, composition of the teams, command and control provisions, evaluation and incident reporting, and the applicable jurisdiction (e.g. in the event of sea operations), etc.

Fundamental rights

Frontex is required to put in place an effective mechanism to monitor the respect for fundamental rights in all its activities.

Cooperation

Frontex may cooperate with Europol, the European Asylum Support Office, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency and other Union entities, third country authorities and international organisations.

Personal data

Frontex has the right to transfer personal data to Europol or other EU law enforcement agencies regarding persons suspected of involvement in cross-border criminal activities, facilitation of illegal immigration activities or in human trafficking activities.

Equipment

Frontex can buy/lease its own equipment (cars, vessels, helicopters, etc.) or jointly buy it with a Member State.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 1168/2011

12.12.2011

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OJ L 304 of 22.11.2011

Last updated: 15.01.2014

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