The European Union (EU) on Tuesday unveiled a new border and coast guard plan to better manage the bloc’s external borders and protect the passport-free policy, in a bid to stem the massive migrant influx.
The EU’s executive branch the European Commission proposed at the European Parliament plenary meeting here to establish a brand new authority, namely “the European Border and Coast Guard,” to replace the Frontex, a European agency heavily relying on member states’ border control efforts, Xinhua reported.
In the meantime, its human resources will more than double that of Frontex, to reach 1,000 permanent staff, including field operatives, by 2020, the Commission said.
But some member states in the 28-nation European Union are hostile to a plan which could see them cede sovereignty over their own land and sea borders to bureaucrats in Brussels.
The European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the EU, will propose that the new agency has the “right to intervene” to protect the security of the EU’s passport-free Schengen area.
“In urgent situations, the Agency must be able to step in to ensure that action is taken on the ground even where there is no request for assistance from the Member State concerned or where that Member State considers that there is no need for additional intervention,” said a draft of its proposal obtained by AFP.
The EU could send in teams of guards in case of a surge at a particular border, or where a member state has a “deficiency” in the management of its borders and had failed to respond to warnings from Brussels, it said.
According to Reuters, “We don’t replace member states’ responsibilities and definitely not their sovereignty,” Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told the European Parliament.
“What we are creating today is more Europe,” Avramopoulos said in a statement. “To manage our external borders, to step up returns of irregular migrants, to allow our asylum system to function properly for this in need and to strengthen checks at the external borders.”
The budget of Frontex has already been increased three times this year to stand at 143 million euros for 2015. That will increase to 238 million euros for next year.
The new body will also have a dedicated Returns Office with the task of stepping up deportations of those who fail to qualify for asylum.