Legal basis

Frontex was established by EU Regulation 2004/2007. As the importance and the involvement of the Agency grew, limits to the initial mandate were identified, including too heavy a reliance on Member States' technical contributions and the need for stronger human rights safeguards, especially with respect to operations at sea. Regulation 2004/2007 was therefore amended by 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 the regulation was recast and the agency is now governed by Regulation (EU) 2019/1896.

Note that the  European Court of Justice annulled the Council Decision supplementing the Schengen Borders Code in 2012 (See Judgement), which was replaced by the Frontex Sea Borders Regulation 656/2014 in May 2014.

13 November 2019

2019 Regulation

14 September 2016

2016 Regulation

30 April 2014

Changes to activities

22 November 2011

2011 amendment

30 May 2002

Historical background

Council of the European Union: Feasibility study for the setting up of the "European Border Police" - final report (Odysseus Programme)


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