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European Border and Coast Guard

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 on the European Border and Coast Guard

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

  • It establishes a European Border and Coast Guard agency to:
    • assure European integrated management at the EU’s border;
    • manage border crossing efficiently; and
    • make the EU’s return* policy more effective as a key component of sustainable migration management.
  • It aims to address migratory challenges and potential future threats at the borders, combat serious international crime, and ensure internal EU security while fully respecting fundamental rights and safeguarding free movement.

KEY POINTS

A standing corps of 10,000 border guards:

  • will ensure that the agency can support EU Member States whenever and wherever needed;
  • will bring together agency staff, as well as border guards and return experts seconded or deployed by Member States, who will support the over 100,000 national border guards in their tasks.

In addition, the agency will have a budget to acquire its own equipment, such as vessels, planes and vehicles.

Executive powers

The standing corps will be able to carry out border control and return tasks, such as identity checks, authorising entry at the external borders, and carrying out border surveillance — only with the agreement of the host Member State.

More support on return

  • In addition to organising and financing joint return operations, the agency will now also be able to support Member States at all stages of return process with Member States remaining responsible for taking return decisions.
  • This support can now also include, for example, providing assistance to returnees before, during and post-arrival, as well as identifying non-EU nationals with no right to stay or acquiring travel documents.

Stronger cooperation with non-EU countries

The agency will be able — subject to prior agreement of the country concerned — to launch joint operations and deploy staff outside the EU, beyond countries neighbouring the EU, to provide support on border management.

Antenna offices

The agency will be able to set up antenna offices in Member States and in a non-EU country (subject to a status agreement) to support logistically its operational activities and guarantee the smooth running of operations.

European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur)

  • To improve Eurosur’s operation, the regulation incorporates it in the functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard.
  • The regulation enlarges Eurosur’s scope to cover most of the components of European integrated border management. This means being able to better detect, anticipate and react to crisis situations at the EU’s external borders and in non-EU countries.
  • A European Commission implementing act, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/581 sets out the rules concerning information exchange and cooperation for the purposes of Eurosur including situational awareness, risk analysis and for supporting the planning and conduct of border control operations. It lays down:
    • the rules for reporting in Eurosur, including the type of information to be provided and the time limits for reporting;
    • the details of the information layers* of the situational pictures*;
    • the procedures for establishing specific situational pictures;
    • the responsibilities related to the reporting, to managing the situational pictures and for operating and maintaining the various technical systems and networks that support Eurosur;
    • Eurosur’s data security and data protection rules;
    • quality control mechanisms.

Repeal

It repeals Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 on Eurosur from 4 December 2019 and (EU) 2016/1624 from 31 December 2020.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

  • It has applied since 4 December 2019.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

KEY TERMS

Return: the process of a non-EU national going back voluntarily or enforced to their country of origin, an agreed country of transit, or another Member State to which the person concerned voluntarily decides to return and where they will be accepted.
Information layers: situational pictures (see next entry) comprise 3 information layers:
  • an events layer (reports on events likely to have an impact on the external border);
  • an operational layer (reports on Member States’ own assets, reports on operational plans, as well as reports on environmental information including, in particular, meteorological and oceanographic information); and
  • an analysis layer, based on risks analysis reports. Analysis reports aim to enhance the understanding of events at the external border which can facilitate the forecasting of trends, the planning and conduct of border control operations, as well as strategic risk analysis.
Situational pictures: these contain information on the situation at European borders and the pre-frontier area.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (OJ L 295, 14.11.2019, pp. 1-131)

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/581 of 9 April 2021 on the situational pictures of the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (OJ L 124, 12.4.2021, pp. 3-39)

Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code) (OJ L 77, 23.3.2016, pp. 1-52)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2016/399 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 29.05.2021

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