Policy developments

The idea of European border guards has been debated at an EU level since the early 2000s (see the Statewatch Analysis from when this project was in its infancy). The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union - or Frontex for short - was established by Regulation 2004/2007.

Calls from the Agency (for more autonomy), criticisms from human rights organisations (regarding transparency, misconduct of border guards and violation of migrants' rights) and demands from some Member States (asking for a more powerful agency) led to the amendment of Regulation 2004/2007 with the adoption of complementary Regulation 1168/2011.

Frontex's legal basis was updated once more with Regulation (EU) 2016/1624, re-launching the agency as the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCGA). In 2019 this regulation was recast and the agency is now governed by Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 (see the legal basis section for more information).

The documentation contained in this section traces the development of the agency since 2004. Documents are categorised according to their discussion of the following operational topics:

These sections are being updated regularly. Other sections of the Observatory contain documents on historical background and related EU policy.


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