Frontex to deploy units on Serbia's borders

The EU and Serbia initialled on 20 September a status agreement that will allow European Border and Coast Guard teams to be deployed in the Balkan country, the European Commission press service reported. According to the agreement, signed in Belgrade by Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Nebojsa Stefanovic, Deputy PM and Minister of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, Frontex will be able to assist the country in border management and carry out joint operations, in particular in the event of a sudden change in migratory flows.

“Step by step, we are better protecting the EU's external borders, and we are doing so also by cooperating more closely with partner countries in our direct neighbourhood and beyond”, Avramopoulos said. He hopes that the EU could swiftly conclude the ongoing negotiations with other Western Balkan partners. The status agreement with Serbia is the third agreement initialled with partner countries from the Western Balkan region, following Albania in February and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in July. Negotiations with Montenegro and with Bosnia and Herzegovina are ongoing. The draft status agreement initialled with Serbia will be formally signed after both sides complete the necessary legal procedures. The EP's consent is also required.

A week ago, following President Juncker's State of the Union Address 2018, the Commission proposed to further reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard, allowing the joint operations and deployments to take place in countries beyond the EU's immediate neighbourhood.

 

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