MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union agreed on Thursday to strengthen the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) by setting up a new standing corps of 10,000 staff in order to secure EU borders, the European Parliament said in a press release.
"The European Border and Coast Guard law will overhaul Europe's border management. It will mean an additional 10,000 border and coast guards for Europe; more efficient returns; more tools to fight crime and will serve to allay security and crime concerns and aid in our migration strategy. Europe's citizens were looking to us to deliver and we have, in record time. This is a win for Europe", European Parliament member Roberta Metsola said, as quoted in the press release.
According to the release, the new corps will be tasked with carrying out border control upon a request from EU member states and with fighting cross-border crime. It will also include a rapid reaction unit for urgent tasks.
The corps will be launched in 2021 and will have 5,000 operational staff, while it is set to become fully operational by 2027, and the staff number is expected to double by then.
The proposed reforms will enable Frontex, established in 2004, to support return procedures by identifying non-EU nationals illegally staying in EU states. Frontex will also strengthen its cooperation with the EU Asylum Agency and with non-EU countries.
Frontex is expected to have closer ties with the European Parliament and parliaments of EU member states.
The text of the proposal now has to be formally approved by the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee, the European Parliament as a whole and the Council.
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