European Border and Coast Guard

EESC opinion: European Border and Coast Guard

Key points

  • The European institutions should ensure that all Member States apply the Schengen rules in the same way. The EESC disagrees with the Commission proposal to establish mandatory, systematic checks of EU citizens at the external borders, as this constrains the exercise of one of the fundamental freedoms.
  • The external EU borders should be managed jointly by the EU and Member States.
  • The proposal to strengthen Frontex's mandate should go hand in hand with more transparency and accountability regarding the Agency's governance and actions.
  • The EU must ensure improved cooperation between the border agency and national authorities.
  • The EESC supports the Commission having the ability to decide to deploy the Agency at the external borders, but only in emergencies and following transparent procedures to keep European legislators (Parliament and Council) directly informed.
  • The EESC suggests setting up a European Border Guard, and omitting the term "coast".
  • The Border Guard must be akin to a civilian police force, not a military force.
  • The Committee suggests that the new integrated external borders system should provide more guarantees that human rights will be respected.
  • The EESC suggests that a representative of the Committee should become a member of the Consultative Forum. The Committee also suggests that the Fundamental Rights Officer could act on his own initiative and implement the complaint mechanism suggested by the Ombudsman.
  • The Committee suggests that the Commission should implement urgent protective measures for the thousands of unaccompanied minors in the EU who suffer from abandonment and lack of protection.