Frontex, the European Border and
Coast Guard Agency, stands at the centre of Europe’s efforts to expand
international cooperation on carrying out various coast guard functions. In
addition to border control, these include: maritime safety, security, search
and rescue, fisheries control, customs, law enforcement and environmental
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency was created on
the foundations of Frontex, an EU agency that had worked closely with national
coast guard agencies since its launch 11 years ago. Joint maritime operations
continue to account for the largest share of the budget of the new agency.
Spending on them already surpasses 100 million euros annually, almost four
times the amount Frontex had spent on sea operations just two years earlier.
Its extensive presence at EU
maritime borders makes Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, an
ideal platform to facilitate cooperation between national law enforcement,
customs and other authorities operating in the maritime domain and European
agencies as part of European Integrated Border Management.
In multi-purpose operations,
vessels and aircraft deployed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency
cooperate with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to spot sea pollution
and other possible violations of maritime conventions. Alongside the European
Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), Frontex collects and shares information to be
used to detect illegal fishing.
The implementation of the agency’s
multipurpose concept for operations has been significantly reinforced in 2016
with the first deployment of EFCA fisheries control inspectors in three
different joint maritime operations. Frontex also deployed its expert at the
EFCA operational centre for the first time and the two agencies have jointly
developed standard operational procedures that will serve as a basis for future
multipurpose operations. Frontex also plans to share operational information
with EFCA and EMSA gathered by surveillance aircraft leased by the agency in
The agency also closely
cooperates with Europol and law enforcement bodies of Member States to combat
serious cross-border crime, including trafficking of human beings and
Another essential coast guard
function is conducting search and rescue operations. Frontex has helped save
hundreds of thousands of migrants stranded at sea. Now, operational and
technical assistance to search and rescue is an integral part of the mandate of
the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.
new agency has established the European Coast Guard Cooperation Network, which
builds on the legacy of the European Patrols Network. The new network brings
together various European and international authorities in the maritime arena.
It will embrace new fields more oriented toward law enforcement at sea in the
areas related to border management, migration, combatting cross-border crime,
prevention of terrorism and search and rescue.