MEPs have approved plans to give the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027 to boost Europe's security.
Europe’s external borders have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of migrants and refugees wishing to enter the EU in recent years. The plans, adopted by MEPs on 17 April, will see the EU agency equipped with a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027 and allow for more efficient returns in the case of non-EU nationals without a right to stay. The standing corps will consist of staff members employed by the agency as well as staff seconded on a mandatory basis by EU countries.
Maltese EPP member Roberta Metsola, the MEP responsible for steering the plans through Parliament, said: “You have to be fair with those who deserve protection, harsh with those prey on the vulnerable and firm with those who seek to break the rules.”
The changes aim to better manage migration, ensure the EU is able to effectively secure its external borders and provide a high level of security within the Union. The new standing corps could, at the request of an EU country, carry out border control and migration management as well as fight cross-border crime. In the event of an emergency, countries will be able to call on its rapid reaction pool for assistance.
Once the Council has also approved them, the new rules will enter into force 20 days following their publication in the EU's official journal. The new standing corps will be available for deployment from 2021.