European Border and Coast Guard

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ETSK:n lausunto: European Border and Coast Guard

The EESC supports the proposal to provide the Agency with its own permanent operational arm made up of 10 000 staff, while it recommends that cooperation between the Agency and the national administrations be defined and organised at European level in a clear and transparent manner.

Given the role which would be played by the Agency in the event of detention of individuals and their potential return to their countries of origin, the Committee recommends that statutory staff are given training modules on respect for fundamental rights.

The Committee calls for the EESC to be part of the Consultative Forum.


Key points

The EESC:

  • firmly supports the proposal to provide the Agency with its own permanent operational arm, made up of 10 000 staff, and thus, working together with the Member States, with the necessary capabilities to protect the EU's external borders, prevent irregular movements, manage legal migration, and implement the return of irregular migrants effectively;
  • recommends that cooperation between the Agency and the national administrations, which are traditionally responsible for border control, be defined and organised at European level;
  • believes that a clear, widely-accepted definition of the Agency's tasks will avoid overlaps and conflicts between responsibilities, and calls for the chain of command between Agency officers and national officials to be established in a clear and transparent manner;
  • recommends that, in the event of specific and disproportionate challenges at external borders, the Agency should be able to intervene at the request of and in coordination with the Member State concerned, by organising and coordinating rapid interventions at the border, sending teams of standing corps equipped with their own modern equipment;
  • endorses the recommendations regarding the Agency's staff on the respect for human life and restrictions on the use of firearms, and on refusing or granting visas at the border, as they are important prerogatives of the authorities responsible for law and order in the Member States;
  • strongly recommends further developing the control mechanisms referred to in Annex V, Chapter 3 of the proposal applying in the event of breach of the rules by staff. The mechanisms should provide for referral to the EU courts;
  • recommends that, given the role which would be played by the Agency in the event of detention of individuals and their potential return to their countries of origin, statutory staff are given training modules on respect for fundamental rights;
  • calls for organised civil society to be part of the Consultative Forum, via the EESC.