24th June 2016

Council and EP agree on border and coast guard

On 21 June, negotiators for the European Parliament and for the Dutch Presidency of the Council reached an informal deal on the European Border and Coast Guard proposal. On 22 June, the Council´s Committee of Permanent Representatives confirmed the agreement. On 27 June, the EP´s LIBE committee is expected to formally endorse it, too. Consequently, the draft regulation will be put to a vote on the July plenary in Strasbourg. Negotiations were thus concluded by mid-2016, as instructed by the European Council.

The new guard will consist of a strengthened Frontex and of national border and coast guards. It will provide monitoring, expertise and support to national forces, which will be solely responsible for managing the borders in non-crisis times. Additionally, the European guard will pool 1500 strong intervention forces, with corresponding equipment. In times of crisis on borders, the member state will be able to ask for help. If the member does not ask for help, and the crisis endangers the whole Schengen area, the EU will be able to send the intervention team anyway. The negotiators agreed on two specific changes over the EC original proposal with regard to this point. Firstly, it will be the Council, not the Commission who will take a vote on sending the intervention team. Secondly, if the member state in question does not cooperate with the intervention team, other member states will be authorized to apply intra-Schengen border checks. The new border guard will also be active in the returns of illegal migrants.

If the formal adoption of the regulation goes smoothly, it could be in force early in fall. For more, click here, here and here.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic