Border and Coast Guard

The high number of illegal border crossings calls for fast and effective measures to combat illegal migration and people smuggling. Although EU member states are primarily responsible for guarding their external borders, they believe there is also a shared responsibility. On 22 June, before the end of the Netherlands EU Presidency, agreement was reached with the European Parliament on establishing a European Border and Coast Guard.

At the Justice and Home Affairs Council meetings during the Netherlands Presidency EU ministers met to discuss the establishment and tasks of a European Border and Coast Guard.

The purpose of this agency will be to strengthen the EU’s external borders. Setting up a European Border and Coast Guard was one of the priorities of the Netherlands Presidency.

New agency

The European Border and Coast Guard will have more powers and a broader mandate than its predecessor, Frontex. For instance, it will have 1,500 border control officials on permanent standby to take action if external border management comes under pressure. It will also have its own equipment. The new agency will contribute not only to border management but also to the return of economic migrants to their countries of origin.

Dutch Minister for Immigration Klaas Dijkhoff.

‘We badly need the European Border and Coast Guard to systematically strengthen management of our external borders,’ Minister for Immigration Klaas Dijkhoff said. ‘It will enable us to manage migration flows more effectively and improve our internal security. The member states and the European Parliament made great efforts to swiftly reach an agreement. What we need now is for the European Border and Coast Guard to get to work as quickly as possible.’