External Borders Agency formally opens for business

Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini and Luxembourg’s Justice Minister Luc Frieden were in Warsaw on 30 June for the inauguration of the FRONTEX borders agency.

FRONTEX, the European agency for the management of operational co-operation at the external borders of the member states, will co-ordinate all activities of national border guards at the external borders of the enlarged EU.

The agency was set up by a regulation in October 2004 and after much argument, and Warsaw was chosen as its seat in April 2005. It will implement the updated border code on movement of persons across borders and so facilitate the free movement of persons within the Schengen area. Agreement on the code was reached between the Council and Parliament on first reading on June 23. The agency will:

  • co-ordinate the activities of national border guards;
  • assist in training;
  • provide technical and research support;
  • assist in joint return operations.

Speaking at the formal inauguration, Franco Frattini said that “together, the Frontex agency and the border code represent the state-of-the-art of EU co-operation on management and control of borders”. 

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