EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Financial support for EU’s external borders and the common visa policy: Internal Security Fund

Financial support for EU’s external borders and the common visa policy: Internal Security Fund

 

SUMMARY OF:

Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa policy

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION?

The regulation, known as the ISF-Borders and Visa Regulation, creates a funding instrument and lays down the objectives, the budget and procedures for implementing the eligible actions for the period 2014-2020.

The general objective of the instrument is to contribute to a high level of security in the EU while facilitating legitimate travel by ensuring the efficient management of the EU’s external borders and the effective processing of visas for the Schengen area (a border-free area comprising 22 EU countries and 4 associated countries — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

KEY POINTS

The ISF-Borders Fund aims to support:

  • the common visa policy to make legitimate travel easier by ensuring a high-quality service for visa applicants and equal treatment of nationals from outside the Schengen area, as well as to tackle illegal migration;
  • integrated border management, including the use of common standards and information exchange between Schengen countries and with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG agency, commonly referred to as Frontex) to ensure;
    • a high level of control and protection of the external borders;
    • smooth crossing of the external borders in conformity with the Schengen acquis; and
    • guaranteeing access to international protection for those needing it.

The instrument funds actions to:

  • strengthen external border checks to monitor the crossing of external borders;
  • gradually establish an integrated management system for external borders, based on solidarity and responsibility, through for example;
    • external border surveillance systems; and
    • cooperation (including in the maritime border area) between border guards, customs, migration, asylum and law enforcement authorities;
  • promote the common policy on visas and other short-stay residence permits and consular cooperation mechanisms;
  • set up and run IT systems supporting the common visa policy and border control, and improve awareness of the situation at external borders;
  • prevent and tackle illegal immigration in cooperation with non-EU countries.

Examples of eligible actions include:

  • infrastructures, IT systems and operating equipment, including means of transport, for border control and processing of visa applications;
  • studies, training and pilot projects on operational standards and best practices in the field;
  • actions relating to operational cooperation between EU and non EU-countries, including joint operations;

The implementation of the fund is mainly entrusted to the participating 26 EU countries (all EU countries, except Ireland and UK) and the 4 Schengen Associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland). The national programmes define the funding priorities by addressing the fund’s objectives.

The allocation of resources is based on a number of criteria relating to the type of external border (maritime, land and international airports), taking into account the travel flows and the level of risks and threats. The allocation of funds to specific objectives under the national programmes relate to the challenges and needs of participating countries.

A table setting out the amounts constituting the basis for participating countries’ national programmes is included in the regulation’s annex I. During the implementation period, such amounts have increased following the allocation of additional funds to national programmes in the framework of the mid-term review conducted in 2018, and specifically for the development of IT systems and for the implementation of the specific actions.

A part of the fund is managed centrally by the Commission in the form of Union actions which includes assistance to address urgent and specific needs in the event of an emergency situation (emergency assistance).

The fund is complemented by the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (ISF-Police Fund), set up by Regulation (EU) No 513/2014.

Budget

The total initial allocation for ISF-Borders and Visa (2014-20) was €2.76 billion (in current prices).

Implementation

The so-called ‘Horizontal Regulation’ (Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 — see relevant summary) contains the general rules and procedures for implementing this instrument.

Extension of the fund to the Schengen associated countries

Agreements have been negotiated between the EU and the 4 Schengen Associated Countries allowing their participation in the ISF-Borders and Visa.

FROM WHEN DOES THE REGULATION APPLY?

It has applied since 1 January 2014.

BACKGROUND

For more information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa and repealing Decision No 574/2007/EC (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, pp. 143-167).

The successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 515/2014 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EU) No 513/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing, as part of the Internal Security Fund, the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, crisis management and repealing Council Decision 2007/125/JHA (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, pp. 93-111)

Regulation (EU) No 514/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 laying down general provisions on the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and on the instrument for financial support for police cooperation, preventing and combating crime, and crisis management (OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, pp. 112-142)

Swiss Confederation

Council Decision (EU) 2018/929 of 25 June 2018 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund, for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 165, 2.7.2018, pp. 1-2)

Council Decision (EU) 2018/404 of 13 March 2018 on the signing, on behalf of the Union, of the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund, for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 74, 16.3.2018, pp. 1-2)

Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund, for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 165, 2.7.2018, pp. 3-11)

Iceland

Council Decision (EU) 2018/948 of 25 June 2018 on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Agreement between the European Union and Iceland on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund, for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 167, 4.7.2018, pp. 1-2).

Council Decision (EU) 2018/398 of 12 June 2017 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Agreement between the European Union and Iceland on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund, for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 72, 15.3.2018, pp. 1-2)

Agreement between the European Union and Iceland on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund, for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 72, 15.3.2018, pp. 3-11)

Kingdom of Norway

Council Decision (EU) 2017/1249 of 16 June 2017 on the conclusion on behalf of the Union of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 179, 12.7.2017, pp. 1-2)

Council Decision (EU) 2017/479 of 8 December 2016 on the signing, on behalf of the Union, and provisional application of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 75, 21.3.2017, pp. 1-2)

Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 75, 21.3.2017, pp. 3-11)

Information relating to the entry into force of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Norway on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 68, 12.3.2018, p. 1)

Principality of Liechtenstein

Council Decision (EU) 2017/657 of 3 April 2017 on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Agreement between the European Union and the Principality of Liechtenstein on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 94, 7.4.2017, pp. 1-2)

Council Decision (EU) 2017/47 of 8 November 2016 on the signing, on behalf of the European Union, and provisional application of the Agreement between the European Union and the Principality of Liechtenstein on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 7, 12.1.2017, pp. 2-3)

Agreement between the European Union and the Principality of Liechtenstein on supplementary rules in relation to the instrument for financial support for external borders and visa, as part of the Internal Security Fund for the period 2014 to 2020 (OJ L 7, 12.1.2017, pp. 4-13)

last update 26.06.2019

Top