Tag Archives: External border

European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Fight against terrorism

European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 of 26 October 2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) is set up in response to the need to improve the integrated management of the external borders of the European Union (EU).

Although responsibility for the control and surveillance of external borders lies with Member States, the agency will facilitate the application of existing and future EU measures relating to the management of these borders.

In this context, “external borders” means Member States’ land and sea borders, airports and seaports to which the provisions of EU law on the crossing of external borders by persons apply.

Tasks of the agency

The main tasks of the agency are to:

  • coordinate operational cooperation between Member States as regards the management of external borders;
  • develop a common integrated risk assessment model and prepare general and specific risk assessments;
  • help Member States train their national border guards by developing common training standards, providing training at European level for instructors of national border guards, holding seminars and offering additional training to officials of the competent authorities;
  • monitor research relevant to the control and surveillance of external borders;
  • assist Member States in circumstances requiring increased technical and operational assistance at external borders;
  • provide Member States with the necessary support in organising joint return operations. The agency may use the Union resources available for this purpose and must draw up an inventory of best practice for the removal of third-country nationals residing illegally in Member States;
  • deploy Rapid Border Intervention Teams to Member States under urgent and exceptional pressure due to, for example, a massive influx of illegal immigrants.

Without prejudice to the competencies of the agency, Member States may continue cooperation at an operational level with other Member States and/or third countries where such cooperation complements the action of the agency. Member States must report to the agency on such activities where they are conducted outside the framework of the agency.

Structure and organisation of the agency

The agency is an EU body with legal personality. It is independent in relation to technical matters and is managed and represented by its executive director. The executive director, who is independent in the performance of his/her duties, is appointed for five years by the management board on the grounds of merit, documented administrative and management skills, and relevant experience in the field of management of external borders. He/she is assisted by a deputy executive director.

The management board also adopts the agency’s general report, work programme and staffing policy and establishes the agency’s organisational structure. It is composed of one representative from each Member State and two Commission representatives. Each Member State also appoints an alternate, while the Commission appoints two alternates. The term of office of management board members is four years, renewable once.

Countries associated with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis participate in the agency and appoint each a representative and an alternate to the management board.

With regard to communication, the agency is responsible for publishing its general report, as well as for providing the public and any interested party with objective, reliable and easily understandable information on its work.

The agency is funded by an EU grant, a contribution from the associated countries, fees for services provided and voluntary contributions from Member States. The financial rules applicable to the agency are adopted by the management board after consulting the Commission.

The management board commissions an independent external evaluation of the implementation of this regulation within three years from the date the agency takes up its responsibilities and will commission a similar evaluation every five years thereafter. It will issue recommendations based on the findings of these evaluations.

The agency takes up its responsibilities on 1 May 2005.

Background

The aim of EU policy in the field of external borders is to set up integrated management ensuring a high and uniform level of checks on persons and surveillance as a prerequisite for the establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice. In its communication of 7 May 2002 entitled “Towards integrated management of the external borders of the Member States of the European Union”, the Commission advocated the setting-up of an “external borders practitioners’ common unit” tasked with managing operational cooperation at Member States’ external borders.

The plan for the management of the external borders of Member States, agreed by the Council on 13 June 2002, endorsed the setting-up of the external borders practitioners’ common unit as a means of establishing integrated management of the external borders. However, this unit has demonstrated structural limitations as regards coordination of operational cooperation.

This regulation is in response to the request made by the Thessaloniki European Council in its conclusions of 16 and 17 October 2003. It builds on the experiences gained from cooperation between Member States within the common unit, over which the agency takes responsibility for coordinating operational cooperation.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004

26.11.2004

OJ L 349 of 25.11.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 863/2007

20.8.2007

OJ L 199 of 31.7.2007

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 February 2008 – Report on the evaluation and future development of the FRONTEX Agency [COM(2008) 67 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In response to the Hague European Council, the Commission submitted a political evaluation of the agency. Its short-term recommendations include exploiting to the full the database of national technical equipment, merging joint operations with the European Patrols Network (EPN), acquiring equipment for Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABIT) and having Frontex manage the ICONet and take over the activities of the Centre for Information, Discussion and Exchange on the Crossing of Frontiers and Immigration (CIREFI).
The Commission also makes long-term recommendations for Frontex’s involvement in the:

  • mechanism of Schengen evaluations of Member States’ external borders;
  • European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR);
  • acquisition of equipment and recruitment for the creation of a European Corps of Border Guards.

Council Decision 2005/358/EC of 26 April 2005 designating the seat of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [Official Journal L 114 of 4.5.2005].
This decision establishes the seat of the agency at Warsaw, Poland.

Arrangements

Council Decision 2010/490/EU of 26 July 2010 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Arrangement between the European Community, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein, of the other part, on the modalities of the participation by those States in the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [Official Journal L 243 of 16.9.2010].

Council Decision 2007/511/EC of 15 February 2007 on the conclusion, on behalf of the Community, of an Arrangement between the European Community and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway on the modalities of the participation by those States in the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union [Official Journal L 188 of 20.7.2007].
The objective of the arrangement is to involve Norway and Iceland in Frontex. Under the regulation establishing the agency, countries associated with the development of the Schengen acquis participate in the agency. The arrangement is intended to set out the details of the participation of Norway and Iceland (the voting rights of their representatives on the Frontex management board, their financial contribution, data protection and recognition of the legal status of Frontex in Icelandic and Norwegian law).

The role of customs in the integrated management of external borders

The role of customs in the integrated management of external borders

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The role of customs in the integrated management of external borders

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Police and customs cooperation

The role of customs in the integrated management of external borders

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 24 April 2003 from the Commission to the Council, European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on the role of customs in the integrated management of external borders [COM(2003) 452 final – Official Journal C 96 of 21.4.2004]

Summary

The present customs controls applied to goods are not adequate to protect the Member States from the growing threats to the EU at its external borders. Chief among these are:

  • Criminal and terrorist threats

    This category includes the introduction into the Community of prohibited goods such as explosives or nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, and also smuggling or trafficking of illegal goods such as drugs, cigarettes and counterfeit goods, often used to finance to finance terrorist organisations or organised crime.
  • Health and safety risks to consumers

    This category covers the unauthorised import of contaminated goods, narcotics and anabolic substances, and medicines and consumer products that do not comply with Community safety standards.
  • Environmental and health risks

    These include illegal trafficking of species of fauna and flora in danger of extinction, radioactive matter and risks associated with the undeclared introduction into Community territory of animal or vegetable species or products.

At present the measures, priorities, investment, equipment and resources used to combat these threats and protect the Community and its citizens differ from one Member State to the next. This means that security controls are neither harmonised nor uniform at Community level, and responses to threats at the external borders are sometimes slow. Common, integrated management of the external borders therefore needs to be established.

Customs operations need to be reorganised to increase the safety of goods. Hence the Communication proposes rationalising customs controls by identifying which ones could be carried out at internal borders to enable controls at external borders to focus on the goods that absolutely must be checked there for safety reasons.

The Commission proposes establishing a common approach to risk at the external borders. In the end this will mean all the authorities with responsibilities relating to the safety of goods (including customs, the police, consumer protection, health protection and environmental protection authorities) working together to establish priorities and define common risk profiles. The risk profiles can be used to identify the most relevant data for risk analyses.

In the long run this should also mean that traders will be able to electronically transmit all data on their goods to customs for initial identification of risks. The data should be supplied in electronic format to facilitate their transfer, evaluation and processing. Customs will then have to centralise the information and send it to the competent authorities. A single transmission channel will have to be set up for this purpose, and it should be possible to process the information on the basis of the profiles established by all the authorities concerned. Effective and rapid systems for information transmission between customs and the other relevant authorities will have to be set up and operated.

Because of their experience in identifying movements of goods, customs will have to cooperate more closely with the police in fraud investigations and have a more specific role in policing goods.

The material and human resources necessary to implement the approach will need to be available at any point along the external borders. Where bulky or particularly expensive equipment is involved, it may be found desirable to designate certain specialised border posts to control certain well-defined types of goods, and to provide them with the necessary special equipment. This would make it possible to spread equipment costs more equitably and to concentrate expertise at these specialised posts. However, such specialisation should not create an obstacle to legitimate trade by imposing additional costs for processing goods at posts far from their destinations.

The proposal presents initiatives which could be introduced for sharing data on goods moving from one country to another to allow more effective identification of high-risk traffic. This would allow the transfer of data received from the exporting country, where information is easier to locate and fuller, and so accelerate customs procedures without compromising security. The Community should promote this principle of sharing responsibility with its neighbours and main trade partners.

The Community should also step up export controls.

In the interests of risk management on its external borders, the Community should increase its cooperation with third countries and countries with which it shares borders.

Measures to support the new Member States should also be adopted, in particular under the Customs 2007 programme.