Fortifying Fortress Europe: Frontex to Help Patrol Albania’s Border

Written by | Saturday, June 1st, 2019

The EU border agency Frontex reported it had launched its first joint operation with outside-the-block country Albania. The operation should be a “real game changer and a truly historical step bringing this region closer to the EU by working together … on shared challenges such as better managing migration and protecting our common borders”, said Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration. Albania, with the assistance of the EU, will help to control borders and tackle cross-border crime.
Albania welcomes the cooperation as it is a significant step in the common relationship which may help the Balkan country to gain membership in the EU. According to the statement of the European Commission, the deal aims to “contribute to the better management of irregular migration, further enhance security at the EU’s external borders and strengthen the agency’s ability to act in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, while bringing that neighbourhood closer to the EU.”
The European Commission has negotiated similar deals with Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, as they all lie on the so-called Balkans route used by thousands of EU-bound migrants. These agreements should come into effect soon. The EU decided to increase border protection after the chaos coming with a huge influx of migrants in 2015. In Albania, Frontex border guards will be placed at the Greek border alongside an Albanian team.

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