The EU on Friday formally established its first standalone border force, boosting the Frontex service with a new permanent corps that will number 10,000 officers by 2027.
The adoption by EU member states means Frontex – the border and coast guard agency for the bloc’s Schengen area – will have personnel wearing its uniform and on its payroll who can be deployed to the EU’s external borders to handle crises or general management.
Frontex currently has up to 1,500 officers active at any time but they are seconded to the agency by member states for short missions, along with ships and aircraft.
The EU regulation adopted Friday also expands the agency’s mandate, which “will allow Frontex to play a bigger role in supporting member states in border control, on returns and in cooperating with third countries,” said Maria Ohisalo, interior minister of Finland, which presently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
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