The European Commission announced plans on Thursday to beef up its European Border and Coast Guard Agency (aka Frontex) with increased funding and powers to protect the bloc’s external borders.
European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said the plan will be “an even bigger game-changer in the way in which our common external borders will be managed and protected.”
The plan will increase the agency’s budget to almost 11.3 billion euros between 2021 and 2027 while the number of operational staff is seen rising from 1,300 to 10,000 by 2020, with member-states contributing to the corps.
Apart from patrolling borders and authorizing or refusing entry at the external borders, Frontex officials will also have the authority to intercept people who have crossed the border irregularly.
“They will always act under the authority and control of the host member-state where the operation takes place. This is not about infringing on member-states’ sovereignty, but about reinforcing it,” he said.