New European Border and Coast Guard Agency launched

The new European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s equipment and teams were presented Thursday at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint on the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Attending were Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Bulgarian Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova, European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri.

“This is an important moment for Europe today,” Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova said. This implies enhanced efficiency, solidarity and partnership in the guarding of the borders in the name of all European citizens, said Buchvarova.

“In less than one year we have established a fully-fledged European Border and Coast Guard system, turning into reality the principles of shared responsibility and solidarity among the Member States and the Union. This is exactly the European response that we need for the security and migration challenges of the 21st century,” said EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos.

“This is a historic moment and I am very proud to see Frontex become the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. The new Agency is stronger and better equipped to tackle migration and security challenges at Europe’s external borders,” said Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Fabrice Leggeri.

On December 15, 2015, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for the creation of a European Border and Coast Guard, building on existing structures of Frontex, to meet the new challenges and political realities faced by the EU, both as regards migration and internal security. The European Border and Coast Guard was approved by the European Parliament and Council in a record time of just nine months.

The Agency will be able to draw on rapid reaction pools of experts, composed of at least 1,500 border guards, and technical equipment placed at its disposal by the Member States and available for immediate deployment.The European Border and Coast Guard will help to manage migration more effectively, improve the internal security of the European Union and safeguard the principle of free movement of persons. The establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard will ensure a strong management of the EU’s external borders as a shared responsibility between the Union and its Member States

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