[by Stop the War on Migrants & Stop Wapenhandel] 7 December 2021 – On 13 November 2019, the European Parliament voted in favor of a major expansion of Frontex, the EU’s border guard agency. This expansion is part of a process started during the ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015 and is, as Frontex itself likes to proclaim, unprecedented in the history of the EU. It’s unprecedented because previously Frontex had a largely coordinating and intermediary function within the European border security system. Frontex essentially ‘borrowed’ its personnel and equipment from the EU member states, a kind of secondment of national border guards. However, this was seen as inefficient and inadequate by both the European Commission and Frontex itself, mainly because EU Member States didn’t commit as much as expected and then subsequently also failed to deliver. This led to the birth of the new mandate. Frontex had to become more independent and “Regulation (EU) 2019/1986” would achieve that.
With “Regulation (EU) 2019/1986”, and a corresponding significant expansion of the budget, the European Commission gives Frontex the task of forming a large-scale standing corps. By 2027, this border police force should consist of ten thousand employees, including three thousand directly in Frontex employment. With this own standing corps, Frontex can start up its own operations more quickly and, also on a smaller scale, provide personnel support to border security authorities in EU Member States and – if an agreement has been reached – to countries beyond.