EU Parliament Approves Establishment of European Border and Coast GuardEU | July 6, 2016, Wednesday // 20:43| views
A general view shows members of the parliament voting during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, 05 July 2016. Photo: EPA
The European Parliament approved on Wednesday the establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) agency.
The plans to establish EU border control system, bringing together the Frontex border agency and national border management authorities were approved by 483 MEPs voting in favour, 181 voting against and 48 abstaining.
According to the plans, national authorities will still manage their border on day-to-day basis.
In the event of heightened migrant pressure exerted on EU's external borders, member states will be able to seek assistance from the agency, which will be capable of rapidly deploying pooled border guard teams.
The rapid border intervention teams will be deployed temporarily either at the request of a member state or by decision of the Council.
The new agency aims to ensure that the external borders of the EU are safer and better managed.
The new agency will have much greater role than Frontex in returning migrants to their country of origin, but only in cases where the executing decisions have already been taken by national authorities.
The agency will not to be involved in the returns between non-EU countries.
EBCG will not rely on its own border guards, but will be able to call on a rapid reaction pool of 1500 border guards who will be nominated by member states.
The rapid reaction pool will be supplied with the necessary equipment not later than ten days after the operational plan is agreed.
The agency will be accountable to the European Parliament and Council.
The mandate of the European Fisheries Control Agency and the European Maritime Safety Agency will be aligned with that of EBCG, enabling all three bodies to coordinate their operations at sea and share information.
According to the plan, Bulgaria has to nominate forty border guards for their eventual deployment to the agency if the need arises.