The Management Board was informed about the state of play regarding the EBCG standing corps establishment.
The Management Board welcomes, as the first successful step, the deployment of the first teams of the standing corps, largely composed of Member States’ category 2 and category 3 officers who are already deployed in the Agency`s activities.
In accordance with the Regulation 2019/1896, as of January 2021 the Agency is obliged to start the deployment of the standing corps teams, including in particular the statutory staff under category 1 of the standing corps. In accordance with the Management Board Decision of 3 April 2020 on the annual and multiannual planning of the standing corps, 700 category 1 statutory staff were to be ready for the deployment as team members of the standing corps as of 1 January 2021.
In this context, the Management Board is very concerned that the Agency has effectively recruited 419 standing corps officers in 2020, however, of which only 255 have completed the basic training to be ready for deployment as of January 2021.
While the Management Board acknowledges that this situation is significantly influenced by the global pandemic, it should be resolved as a matter of priority to ensure the effectiveness of the standing corps support for the Member States at the external borders and in return operations in 2021.
The Management Board notes that the Agency plans to make available for deployment in total 650 category 1 officers to be deployed as team members, including those who are still in training as well as those who need to be recruited and trained in the course of 2021. However, this total number will still be 50 officers short of the required number identified by the Management Board. Finally, the Management Board notes that the agency has recruited additional 49 staff outside category 1 as operational coordination chain.
Given the above considerations, the Management Board urges the Executive Director to ensure that:
- all 700 operational statutory staff required by the Management Board Decision of 3 April 2020 are available for deployment as team members as soon as possible. This includes the possibility of launching additional calls for interest;
- all 40 Fundamental Rights monitors are recruited without any further delay as provided for in Regulation 2019/1896;
- 80 out of the 242 staff members of the ETIAS Central Unit are effectively recruited in the course of 2021 to support the implementation of the system and 162 remaining staff members by the first half of 2022, so that they will be fully available when the system becomes operational;
- the necessary preparations are made as soon as possible to ensure that 500 additional standing corps statutory staff are recruited and trained for their effective deployment as of 1 January 2023, as required by the Regulation 2019/1896;
- the Management Board is informed monthly in writing on the progress in implementing the above points.
The Management Board also encourages the Member States concerned to provide their respective missing contributions under category 2 and category 3 at the latest by end of March 2021.
The Management Board will closely monitor the situation in the coming weeks and will discuss the state of play at its next regular meeting in March 2021.