European Parliament approves European Border and Coast Guard

The European Parliament has given its approval to the European Commission’s proposal to establish a European Border and Coast Guard border control system.

“If we want to manage migration better and preserve our Schengen area of free movement, we need to strengthen the common management of the EU’s external borders. Today’s decision by the Parliament is a major step forward in that direction,” First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said.

The European Border and Coast Guard will ensure a collective European management of the borders, based on the principle that security of the common EU external borders is a responsibility shared amongst all EU countries.

The new agency will support, monitor and, when necessary, reinforce the national border guards, focusing primarily on early detection and prevention of weaknesses in the management of the external borders.

Whilst Member States will keep their sovereignty and national border guards will remain the key actors for managing their borders, the European Border and Coast Guard will work as a safety net, Timmermans and Avramopoulos said.

“In exceptional situations, when a Member State is unable to cope with the situation on its own, the European Border and Coast Guard will be able to step in, drawing on a pool of resources provided by the Member States,” they added.

The approval by the European Parliament will be followed by a final vote on technical modifications resulting from a legal-linguistic revision. This will allow the Council to adopt the final text of the proposal.

The establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard is part of the measures under the European Agenda on Migration to reinforce the management and security of the EU’s external borders.

In June 2016, the European Parliament, Council and Commission reached an agreement on the Commission’s proposal on a European Border and Coast Guard, which was endorsed by the Council on 23 June 2016.

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