Mission and Tasks

Frontex promotes, coordinates and develops European border management in line with the EU fundamental rights charter applying the concept of Integrated Border Management.

Frontex helps border authorities from different EU countries work together. Frontex’s full title is the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union. The agency was set up in 2004 to reinforce and streamline cooperation between national border authorities. In pursuit of this goal, Frontex has several operational areas which are defined in the founding Frontex Regulation and a subsequent amendment. These areas of activity are:

Joint Operations — Frontex plans, coordinates, implements and evaluates joint operations conducted using Member States’ staff and equipment at the external borders (sea, land and air).

Training — Frontex is responsible for developing common training standards and specialist tools. These include the Common Core Curriculum, which provides a common entry-level training rationale for border guards across the Union, and mid- and high-level training for more senior officers.

Risk Analysis — Frontex collates and analyses intelligence on the ongoing situation at the external borders. These data are compiled from border crossing points and other operational information as well as from the Member States and open sources including mass media and academic research.

Research — Frontex serves as a platform to bring together Europe’s border-control personnel and the world of research and industry to bridge the gap between technological advancement and the needs of border control authorities.

Providing a rapid response capability — Frontex has created a pooled resource in the form of European Border Guard Teams (EBGT) and an extensive database of available equipment which brings together specialist human and technical resources from across the EU. These teams are kept in full readiness in case of a crisis situation at the external border.

Assisting Member States in joint return operations — When Member States make the decision to return foreign nationals staying illegally, who have failed to leave voluntarily, Frontex assists those Member States in coordinating their efforts to maximise efficiency and cost-effectiveness while also ensuring that respect for fundamental rights and the human dignity of returnees is maintained at every stage.

Information systems and information sharing environment — Information regarding emerging risks and the current state of affairs at the external borders form the basis of risk analysis and so-called “situational awareness” for border control authorities in the EU. Frontex develops and operates information systems enabling the exchange of such information, including the Information and Coordination Network established by Decision 2005/267/EC and European border surveillance system.

While fulfilling its mandate, Frontex liaises closely with other EU partners involved in the development of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice such as Europol, EASOEurojustFRA or CEPOL, as well as with customs authorities in order to promote overall cohesion.

Frontex also works closely with the border-control authorities of non-EU/Schengen countries — mainly those countries identified as a source or transit route of irregular migration — in line with general EU external relations policy.