EU: Tracking the Pact: Plan for Frontex to deploy "vessels, surveillance equipment, and carry out operational tasks" in Senegal and Mauritania

The EU's border agency is also due to open a "risk analysis cell" in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in autumn this year, according to documents obtained by Statewatch and published here. The two "action files" put heavy emphasis on the "prevention of irregular departures" towards the Canary Islands and increased cooperation on border management and anti-smuggling activities. Earlier this month, the Council authorised the opening of negotiations on status agreements that would allow Frontex to operate in both countries.


Each action file contains four actions, with more detail on the relevant institutions and timelines contained within the documents. The Mauritania document still contains tracked changes.

Senegal: Fiche Action - Sénégal - Renforcement de la coopération avec l'agence Frontex (WK 7990/2022 INIT, LIMITE, 7 June 2022, pdf)

Action 1: Jointly pursue contacts with the Senegalese authorities - and in particular the Ministry of the Interior, as well as other relevant authorities - at political and diplomatic level to achieve progress on the commitments made during the visit of President von der Leyen and Commissioners on 9-11 February 2022, in particular with regard to the fight against irregular immigration, and Frontex cooperation, as part of a comprehensive EU-Senegal partnership on migration and mobility. Take stock of Senegal’s political context (i.a. Casamance) and suggestions in order to agree on next steps and a calendar.

Action 2: Taking up the elements of the previous negotiations with the relevant Senegalese authorities, and in the framework of the new working arrangement model, propose a working arrangement with Frontex in the short term, depending on the will and the interest of the Senegalese authorities to conclude such an arrangement.

Action 3: Depending on the response from the Senegalese authorities, initiate steps towards the negotiation and, in the medium term, the conclusion of a status agreement allowing direct operational support from Frontex to Senegal, particularly in terms of prevention of crime and irregular migration, including in the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings.

Action 4 Give substance to the messages expressed by the Senegalese authorities in the framework of policy exchanges and work on joint programming (Joint Strategy Paper - JSP). Identify support and cooperation measures of major interest to the Senegalese authorities (e.g. explore with Senegal the interest in concluding a Talent Partnership with voluntary Member States, if progress is made in other aspects of migration cooperation; propose an anti-smuggling operational partnership and explore possibilities to strengthen cooperation and exchange of information with Europol). Make use of the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic route to frame cooperation projects on migration issues. Promote cooperation with Frontex on border management also in the broader framework of cooperation and exchanges with the Senegalese authorities.

And: Council Decision (EU) 2022/1169 of 4 July 2022 authorising the opening of negotiations on a status agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Senegal on operational activities carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in the Republic of Senegal (Eur-Lex)

Mauretania: Fiche Action - Mauritanie - Renforcement de la coopération avec l'agence Frontex (WK 7989/2022 INIT, LIMITE, 7 June 2022, pdf):

Action 1: On the basis of the exchanges initiated and the cooperation undertaken with the Mauritanian authorities, identify the main priorities of the migration relationship. Determine the support and cooperation measures of major interest (e.g. support for the implementation of the National Migration Management Strategy, continuation of maritime strategy actions, protection of refugees and asylum seekers, support for reintegration, fight against smuggling networks, deployment of an additional surveillance and intervention unit of the "GAR-SI" type, creation of jobs for young people, involvement of the diaspora in the development of the country, etc.). Use the Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic route to coordinate cooperation projects on migration issues, including on root causes.

Action 2: Propose to the Mauritanian authorities the holding of an informal migration dialogue between the EU and Mauritania, focusing notably on the fight against migrant smuggling and border management, in order to best determine their needs in this area and identify the possibilities for Frontex support.

Action 3: On the basis of the exchanges that took place between Frontex and the Mauritanian authorities in the first semester of 2022, finalise the exchanges on a working arrangement with Frontex, depending on their interest to conclude it.

Action 4: Depending on the interest shown by the Mauritanian authorities, initiate diplomatic steps to propose the negotiation and conclusion of a status agreement allowing direct operational support from Frontex at Mauritania's borders, in particular in the area of prevention of irregular departures, but also in the fight against migrant smuggling and other areas of interest to Mauritania, in the framework of the Frontex mandate.

And: COUNCIL DECISION (EU) 2022/1168 of 4 July 2022 authorising the opening of negotiations on a status agreement between the European Union and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania on operational activities carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (Eur-Lex)

Further reading


Image: Fishing boats stored on the beach of Nouakchott, Valerian Guillot, CC BY 2.0

 

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