The EU wants to expand the border protection agency Frontex by 2027 to up to 10,000 emergency services. That would be about 8,000 border guards more than before.
According to participants of the negotiations between EU member states and the European Parliament. The expansion should take place gradually starting from the year 2021. More staff should enable better protection of the external borders of the EU, thus rendering existing controls at EU internal borders superfluous.
Earlier, the EU leaders had put pressure. A plan by the EU Commission had actually planned in September to expand Frontex by 2020 to 10,000 officials.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her colleagues stressed at a summit in June 2018. That „effective control of the EU’s external borders“ had to be ensured and „the effective repatriation of irregular migrants significantly increased“.
However, many EU states expressed concerns about the EU Commission’s timetable. Countries such as Italy and Greece also feared for their sovereignty on their own territory because of extended powers of Frontex.
EU Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker then accused the EU states of „blatant hypocrisy“. In the meantime, the German government had said that it would be realistic to expand to 10,000 emergency services by 2025.
The number of illegal border crossings into the EU has been declining for years. According to Frontex, it was 150,114 in 2018. That was 27 percent less than in the previous year.