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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 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. 

The official documentation contained in this section traces the legislative development of the Agency's mandate since 2004 and the positioning of the different competent EU bodies in this respect. This section is  organised in three periods:
ONGOING POLICY-MAKING: 2011 ONWARDS
European Commission 
12/04/2013 Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Members States of the European Union (EU doc. no. COM(2013) 197 final)

Documents and material on the ongoing legislative process for this proposal can be found on Statewatch News Online and in the Statewatch Database.
23/10/2012 Communication (EU doc. no. COM(2012) 290): Financial statement accompanying Regulation (EU) No 1168/2011 (Increased funding for Frontex)
Council of the European Union
26/09/2012 Note from Legal Department to COREPER II (EU doc. no. 14236/12): Judgment of the Court of Justice of 5 September 2012 in Case C-355/10 (European Parliament v. Council of the European Union) - notion of essential and non-essential elements
European Parliament
30/05/2012 Frontex's reply to the European Parliament's LIBE Committee on the Agency's fundamental rights strategy
23/02/2012 Greens EFA's press release: Court ruling on odious Italy-Libya deal has clear implications for EU migration and border policies
European Data Protection Supervisor
30/05/2012 Opinion on the notification for prior checking from the Data Protection Officer of the FRONTEX on Staff Appraisal, Probation and Reclassification
European Ombudsman
02/2014 Ombudsman own-initiative inquiry into Frontex: Short Summary of the Special Report of the European Ombudsman in own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning Frontex (pdf):

"The Ombudsman recommended to Frontex that it should set up a mechanism whereby it could deal directly with complaints from people claiming to have had their fundamental rights breached by Frontex. Regrettably, Frontex decided not to accept this recommendation....

The Ombudsman does not accept that Frontex does not carry responsibility for the actions of staff operating under the Frontex banner. That responsibility may sometimes be shared with the individual Member State, but it is not tenable that Frontex has no responsibility and that, thus, it should not deal with complaints arising from actions in which it is involved... The Ombudsman seeks the support of the European Parliament in prevailing upon Frontex to act on the recommendation to establish its own complaints mechanism."

See also: Full Summary on Frontex Inquiry (pdf)
09/04/2013 Draft recommendation of the European Ombudsman in his own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) and accompanying letter to Executive Director
19/07/2012 European Ombudsman invites observations from interested parties concerning his own-initiative inquiry into the implementation by Frontex of its fundamental rights obligations. See all contributions from third organisations and third parties. Statewatch and Migreurop's reply to the Ombudsman.
06/03/2012 Own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning implementation by Frontex of its fundamental rights obligations, letter to Illka Laitinen, Frontex's Executive Director. See Frontex's reply to the Ombudsman on 17 May 2012.  
European Court of Justice (Court of Justice of the European Union)
05/09/2012 European Parliament v Council of the European Union (Case C-355/10): Judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice annuling Council Decision 2010/252/EC supplementing the Schengen Borders Code during surveillance operations coordinated by Frontex at the sea external borders
17/04/2012 European Parliament v Council of the European Union (Case C-355/10): General Advocate Paolo Mengozzi in favour of the annulment of Council Decision 2010/252/EU supplementing the Schengen Borders Code as regards the surveillance of the sea external borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by Frontex
(see Statewatch's analysis of the opinion in the Analysis section)
14/07/2010 European Parliament v Council of the European Union (Case C-355/10) challenging the legality of the adoption procedure of Council Decision 2010/252/EU of 26 April 2010 supplementing the Schengen Borders Code as regards the surveillance of the sea external borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union.
European Court of Human Rights
23/02/2012 ECHR's ruling - Hirsi Jamma and others v. Italy: Returning migrants to Libya without examining their case exposed them to a risk of ill-treatment and amounted to collective expulsion
(See also Green EFA Press Release in "European Parliament" section)
Council of Europe  
08/04/2013 Frontex: human rights responsibilities, doc. 13161. Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons (Rapporteur: Mr Mikael CEDERBRATT, Sweden, Group of the European People's Party)
17/09/2012 Contribution by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons to the public consultation in the context of the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry on Frontex
12/09/2011 Frontex and human rights implications of Europe's border security, doc.12704, Motion for a resolution presented by Mr Hagen and others
Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Unio (FRA) 
26/09/2012 Contribution by the FRA to the public consultation in the context of the European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry on Frontex
AMENDMENT PROCESS OF REGULATION 2004/2007: 2010-2011
Council of the European Union
22/11/2011 REGULATION (EU) No 1168/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 25 October 2011 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union


and Full-text of Regulation as amended: The Frontex Regulation – Consolidated text after 2011 amendments (33 pages, pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex
10/10/2011 New rules on Frontex adopted - Strengthening the European external borders agency (EU doc. no. 15208/11), Press release 353
03/10/2011 Council Declaration on the UK's participation in Frontex operations (EU doc. no. 14702/11 ADD 1)
15/09/2011 Note from General Secretariat of the Council, to: delegations (EU doc. no. 14259/11) Plenary Session of the European Parliament: Debate - European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex)
23/06/2011 Council of the European Union, Press release (EU doc. no.)11916/11 PRESSE 192: Strengthening the European external borders agency Frontex - Political agreement between Council and Parliament
17/06/2011 Note from Presidency, to: Coreper/Mixed Committee (EU-Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway/Switzerland) (EU doc. no. 1176/11)
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex)
26/05/2011 Note from Presidency, to: delegations (EU doc. no. 10639/11)
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex)
18/05/2011 Proposal for the amendment of Frontex Regulation - Presidency's compromise proposals on LIBE amendments regarding Fundamental Rights issues and democratic scrutiny, 10241/11
27/04/2011 Note from Presidency, to: JHA Counsellors /Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 9342/11 LIMITE)
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex)
11/04/2011 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 8707/11)
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex)
25/03/2011 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 7961/11)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
01/03/2011 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 6394/11)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
01/02/2011 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 5859/11)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
01/02/2011 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 5682/11)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
12/01/2011 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 5099/11)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
13/12/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 17619/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 - Draft report of the European Parlament Rapporteur
29/11/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 16587/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
22/11/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 15812/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 - Draft report of the European Parliament Rapporteur
17/11/2010 Note from: Maltese delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 16147/10)
Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council amending Council Regulation No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex)
28/10/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 15261/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 - Recitals
27/10/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 15260/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 - Outstanding issues
14/10/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 14914/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
14/09/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 13466/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 - Personal data related issues
09/09/2010 Note from: Greek delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 13396/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
02/09/2010 Request for Information (EU doc. no. 4313/10)
Proposal amending Frontex Regulation - Request for contributions
03/08/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 11843/1/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
23/07/2010 Note from: Polish delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 12519/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
22/07/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 11843/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
20/07/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 12290/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
29/06/2010 Note from: The President of the Austrian Federal Council, Peter Mitterer, to: José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, President of the Council of the European Union (EU doc. no. 10878/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004  Reasoned opinion in accordance with Article 6 of the Protocol (No 2) on the application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality
21/06/2010 Note from: Incoming Belgian Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 11257/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
04/06/2010 Note from: Greek delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 10678/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
21/05/2010 Note from: Polish delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 10056/10)
 Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
21/05/2010 Note from: Polish delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 10055/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
21/05/2010 Note from: Italian delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 10053/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
11/05/2010 Note from: Polish delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 9673/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
11/05/2010 Note from: Netherlands delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 9671/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
11/05/2010 Note from: Finnish delegation, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 9668/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
11/05/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 9390/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
06/05/2010 Note from: Speaker of the Polish Senate, Bogdan Borusewicz, to: Miguel Ángel Moratinos, President of the Council of the European Union (EU doc. no. 9483/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 - Reasoned opinion in accordance with Article 6 of the Protocol (No 2) on the application of the Principles of Subsidiarity and Proportionality
03/05/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 8466/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 
22/04/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 8832/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
06/04/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 8244/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 
29/03/2010 Note from: Presidency, to: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 8121/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
26/03/2010 Outcome of Proceedings of: Working Party on Frontiers/Mixed Committee (EU doc. no. 7497/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
European Commission
03/10/2011 COM Declaration on the monitoring of return operations and on the creation of a European system of border guards (EU doc.no. 14702/11 ADD 1)
07/2011 Background information on smart borders initiative
28/01/2011 Commission Staff Working Paper determining the technical and operational framework of the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and the actions to be taken for its establishment Council of the European Union, SEC(2011) 45 final
15/12/2010 Press release IP/10/1719 from the European Commission: The European Commission provides an additional €9.8 million and further technical support to Greece on asylum and border issues
29/11/2010 Commission Staff Working document on the fulfilment of the 29 measures for reinforcing the protection of external borders and combating illegal immigration adopted at the Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, held on 25 and 26 February 2010, SEC(2010) 1480
01/03/2010
Note from: Secretary-General of the European Commission, signed by Mr Jordi Ayet Puigarnau, Director, to: Mr Pierre de Boissieu, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union (EU doc. no. 6898/10)
Proposal for a Regulation amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004
24/02/2010 Commission Staff Working document: Impact assessment accompanying the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex), SEC (2010) 149
24/02/2010 Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex), COM (2010) 61 final 2010/0039 (COD)
13/02/2008 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, The European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions Examining the creation of a European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), COM (2008) 68 final
02/2008 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. Report on the evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency, COM (2008) 68 final
02/2008 Commission staff working document accompanying document to the Communication from the Commission report on the evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency, Impact Assessment, SEC (2008)
02/2008 Commission staff working document: Annex to the report from the Commission on the evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency, Statistical data COM (2008) xx final
European Parliament
13/09/2011 European Parliament (EU doc. no.IP/11/1020) : European Parliaments adopts Commission proposal for stronger EU border management agency, press release
13/09/2011 European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL): New Frontex mandate a "wolf in sheep's clothing", press release
13/09/2011 Green/EFA Group: Frontex/EU border control. Half-hearted improvements on human rights protection fall short, press release
23/03/2011 Orientation vote result on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) (COM(2010)0061 - C7-0045/2010 - 2010/0039(COD)), Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
23/02/2010 European Parliament resolution of 18 December 2008 (EU doc. no. 2008/2157(INI)) Evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency and of the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur) , OJEU, 2010/C 45 E/08
26/01/2010 European Parliament's opinion. Note for the file: Draft Council Decision supplementing the Schengen Borders Code as regards sea border surveillance in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by Frontex (COM(2009)658) as amended by the Council on 25 January 2010
18/12/2008 European Parliament Resolution (EU doc. no. 2008/2157(INI)) - Evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency and of the European Border Surveillance System (Eurosur)
11/11/2008 European Parliament Report (EU doc. no. A6-0437/2008) on the evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency and of the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (2008/2157(INI))
European Data Protection Supervisor
17/12/2010 Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisorv on the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - "EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe"
03/12/2010 EDPS's comments on Amendment 59 in the Draft report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) (COM(2010)0061 - C7-0045/2010 -2010/0039(COD)) - Letter of 3 December 2010 to Rapporteur Simon Busuttil concerning the draft report on the proposal for a revised Frontex Regulation (Case 2010-0056)
17/10/2010 Revision of Frontex's mandate: EDPS calls for clear rules on data protection. Press release and full text of Opinion
26/04/2010 Opinion of 26 April 2010 on a notification for prior checking concerning the "Collection of names and certain other relevant data of returnees for joint return operations (JRO)" (Case 2009-0281
03/03/2008 Preliminary Comments of the European Data Protection Supervisor on Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, “Report on the evaluation and future development of the Frontex Agency”, COM(2008) 67 final
European Council
12/09/2011 Frontex and human rights implications of Europe’s border security, Motion for a resolution presented by Mr Hagen and others
01/06/2011 The interception and rescue at sea of asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants - Committee on Migration, Refugee and Population, Rapporteur: Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, Socialist Group
FRONTEX'S INITIAL MANDATE: 2004-2010
Council of the European Union
16/04/2010 Council decision supplementing the Schengen Borders Code as regards the surveillance of the sea external borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union
22/02/2010 Council of the European Union (EU Doc. No. 6504/10): New JHA working structures: Abolition of CIREFI and transfer of its activities to Frontex and the Working Party on Frontiers
21/01/2010 Draft Council Decision supplementing the Schengen Borders Code as regards the surveillance of the sea external borders in the context of the operational cooperation coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders, 5323/1/10
15/02/2008 Council of the European Union (EU Doc. No. 5685/08): Conclusions from the Expert Meeting on the Follow-up of the Joint Frontex Europol Report on the High Risk Routes of Illegal Migration in the Western Balkan Countries within the Frontex Risk Analysis Network
11/07/2007 Regulation (EC) No 863/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 establishing a mechanism for the creation of Rapid Border Intervention Teams and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 as regards that mechanism and regulating the tasks and powers of guest officers
26/04/2005 Council Decision of 26 April 2005 designating the seat of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union
25/11/2004 Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 of 26 October 2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union
11/06/2003 Council of the European Union (EU Doc. No.10058/1/03 REV 1): Report on the implementation of programmes, ad hoc centres, pilot projects and joint operations
13/09/2002 Note from UK delegation to SCIFA (EU Doc. No.11994/02)
UK setting up "Mobile Detection Unit" for external border controls at the five main irregular migration routes into the EU (Balkans, Baltic, Southern Mediterranean, North Africa, Central Europe) 
30/05/2002 Council of the European Union: Feasibility study for the setting up of the "European Border Police" - final report (Odysseus Programme)
European Commission
25/10/2004 European Commission Staff Working Paper (SEC(2004) 1349: Annual report on the development of a common policy on illegal immigration, smuggling and trafficking of human beings, external borders, and the return of illegal residents 
13/11/2003 European Commission: Proposal for a Council Regulation establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Co-operation at the External Borders
05/07/2002 Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Towards Integrated Management of the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, COM(2002) 233 final
European Court of Justice (Court of Justice of the European Union)
18/12/2007 United Kingdom v Council of the European Union (Case C-77/05) Action for annulment under Article 230 EC of Regulation 2004/2007 (challenging the exclusion of the UK from the decision process in the adoption of Regulation 2004/2007 and the classification of Regulation 2004/2007 as developing the provisions of the Schengen acquis)
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