The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker is about to announce a draft law that would see Frontex, the EU's border agency, undergo a major expansion. It would also centralize more power under Frontex .
The EU's border agency Frontex will undergo a major expansion. The European Commission is presenting a draft law before the European Parliament this week, which would see a drastic expansion of the border agency from 1,500 full-time employees to 10,000 within two years.
The European Union hopes that the expansion will help in securing its external borders and also speed up deportations of those coming into Europe irregularly and without a legitimate claim to asylum. Under the new law, Frontex would be allowed to organize deportations in any EU country without requiring its consent.
The draft law would also see a shift in responsibilities held by Frontex, including allowing the use of firearms to secure the bloc's external borders – even if a particular member country opposes this measure.
Frontex: The cost of keeping Europe safe
While the EU Parliament might likely show its support for the draft law it is somewhat unlikely that the ambitious goal of adding another 8,500 permanent staff members to Frontex can be achieved in just two years. In addition to questions pertaining to human resources and logistics, there's also the issue of financing this major expansion project. While most EU nations agree on taking a tougher course with securing the bloc's external borders, financing this endeavor would likely require funds from all the member states.
Earlier plans to spread this course of expansion until 2027 came to the tune of more than 21 billion euros distributed over seven years. A swifter execution of the plan is prone to further inflate the cost. Finalizing the change in law might take months, during which time there might be additional amendments made to the draft
Based in Warsaw, Poland, Frontex is in charge of securing EU borders. Its mandate stops short of being allowed to take away any sovereignty from individual member states. It can, however, assist EU member states with securing their borders during times of crisis. Established in 2004, Frontex ensures that all of the EU's borders abide by the same standards.