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Europe Day – united against corona virus with eyes on the future

2020-05-08

70 years after the Schuman declaration, Europe faces a crisis which makes standing together more important than ever. Today we remember how Europeans made history in 1950 and pay tribute to those who are currently making history in the fight against COVID-19.

“Seven decades ago Robert Schuman set out his idea for a new form of cooperation in Europe, which ultimately paved the way for the European Union. It is a momentous achievement that today helps protect 446 million citizens of its Member States. We’re proud to do our part by making Europe’s borders more secure,” said Fabrice Leggeri, Executive Director of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for solidarity across Europe and the crucial role of the EU in coordinating the European response. Such a response is essential when it comes to our borders. If we cannot control the external borders, we cannot control the spread of pandemics in Europe.

Frontex plays a key role in ensuring effective protection of the external borders of the European Union not only against cross-border crime but also against health threats.

It is already deeply involved in the fight against coronavirus, assisting EU institutions by developing guidelines, monitoring tools and risk analysis. The Agency continues to deliver despite the challenging times and maintains 900 officers, ships, aircrafts and other equipment at the EU external borders where they are needed most.

The current pandemic has highlighted the fact that border management requires proper mobility management. This means that the newly formed European Border and Coast Guard standing corps will not only have to deal with irregular migration, cross-border crime or terrorism at the external borders but will also be a common European tool to better embed sanitary objectives under the umbrella of Integrated Border Management at EU external borders.

Amid the ongoing crisis, Frontex, the European Union and Member States continue to prepare for the future by laying the ground for the deployment of first standing corps officers in 2021. They will wear a European uniform and take advantage of Frontex’s own technical equipment.

“Frontex and the standing corps are EU’s operational face on the ground, protecting its citizens by using the external borders as a filter, making the area of freedom, security and justice more sustainable,” said Fabrice Leggeri.

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