The European Commission yesterday (15 December) adopted a series of measures aiming to manage the protection of the EU’s external borders and the Schengen area. The proposal is believed to help deal with migration flows in a more effective way and thus improve the internal security in the EU and safeguard the right of EU nationals to move freely within the Schengen zone. The Commission yesterday also proposed to form a European border and Coast Guard to improve security of EU citizens. This will also include systematic checks of all individuals entering or leaving the Schengen zone.
European Commission First Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, commented that “in an area of free movement without internal borders, managing Europe’s external borders must be a shared responsibility”. He further explained that “the crisis has exposed clear weaknesses and gaps in existing mechanisms aimed at making sure that EU standards are upheld. Therefore, it is now time to move to a truly integrated system of border management.” European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, added that the proposal is the response to “the current migration and security challenges, which know no borders, and require a truly European approach.”
The European Border and Coast Guard will combine a European Border and Coast Guard Agency formed from Frontex and the authorities of the Member States in charge of border management. The newly formed body will be responsible for the day-to-day running and management of the external border. The new European Border and Coast Guard will have a rapid reserve pool of border guards and technical equipment, a monitoring and supervisory role, a monitoring and risk analysis center as well as the right to intervene. As such, Member States will be able to request intervention and joint operations including the deployment of the European Border and Coast Guard Teams to support these.