European Border and Coast Guard (until December 2020)
Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 on the European Border and Coast Guard
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?
It sets up a European Border and Coast Guard to ensure, for the first time, the effective implementation of integrated border management at the external borders of the European Union (EU) as well as of the Schengen associate countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland).
This European Border and Coast Guard consists of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (‘the Agency’), created on the basis of the existing EU borders agency (commonly known as Frontex), and the EU countries’ and Schengen associate countries’ authorities responsible for border management.
It also extends and strengthens Frontex’s mandate.
Main tasks of the European Border and Coast Guard
The main task of the European Border and Coast Guard is to work towards a European integrated border management as a shared responsibility of the Agency and the national authorities responsible for border management.
The main actions of the Agency are to:
- contribute to the effective functioning of border control at the relevant external borders, including actions to facilitate legal border crossings and the detection of cross-border crime, such as migrant smuggling or human trafficking;
- provide technical and operational assistance to the participating countries through joint operations* and rapid border interventions;
- provide technical and operational assistance in the support of search and rescue operations for persons in distress at sea, which may arise during border surveillance operations at sea;
- provide an analysis of the risks for internal security as well as of the threats that may affect the functioning or security of the EU’s external borders;
- cooperate with non-EU countries and non Schengen associate countries, focusing on neighbouring countries and countries of origin and/or transit for irregular immigration;
- carry out a vulnerability assessment including the assessment of the capacity and readiness of the participating countries to face threats and challenges at the external borders;
- organise, coordinate and conduct return operations and interventions.
In accordance with international conventions such as the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, any vessels participating in maritime operations coordinated by the Agency are bound to provide assistance to people in distress at sea. The Agency assists the participating countries in conducting search and rescue operations in order to protect and save lives during border surveillance operations at sea.
Monitoring of migration flows and risk analysis
The Agency contributes to ensuring that EU standards to protect and enforce border management are implemented at all external borders.
EU countries’ and Schengen associate countries’ external borders will constantly be monitored by means of risk analysis and mandatory vulnerability assessments to identify and address weak spots.
EU border and coast guards
A rapid reaction pool of at least 1,500 border and coast guards and a technical equipment pool are to be ready to react to any kind of pressure of illegal migration at the external borders.
Where necessary, the deployment of European Border and Coast Guard teams from the reaction pool will be immediately supplemented by additional border guards from EU countries.
Processing of personal data
The Agency is permitted to process personal data only for the purpose of risk analysis, organising operational activities including joint operations, rapid border interventions, return operations* and return interventions*, and transmission to the competent national authorities or EU agencies, such as EASO, Europol and Eurojust.
The Agency will manage the personal data of persons suspected of involvement in criminal activities, such as migrant smuggling, human trafficking and terrorism.
Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 will be repealed and replaced on 31 December 2020 by Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 setting up a new enhanced European Border and Coast Guard — see summary.
FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?
The regulation entered into force on 6 October 2016. The rapid reaction and technical equipment pools have been in place since December 2016.
The establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard is one of the measures set out under the European agenda on migration to reinforce the management and security of the EU’s external borders.
Joint operations: operations coordinated by the Agency and involving human resources and technical equipment provided by one or more EU country.
Return operations: where the Agency coordinates an operation which involves technical and operational reinforcement being provided by one or more EU countries, under which returnees from one or more countries are returned — either on a forced or voluntary basis.
Return interventions: where the Agency provides EU countries with enhanced technical and operational assistance, consisting of the deployment of European return intervention teams to EU countries and coordinates return operations.
Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2016 on the European Border and Coast Guard and amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Regulation (EC) No 863/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 and Council Decision 2005/267/EC (OJ L 251, 16.9.2016, pp. 1-76)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
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)
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)
See consolidated version.
last update 31.05.2017