Other Partners and Projects

Cooperation with non-EU countries is an integral part of the Frontex mandate to ensure implementation of the European integrated border management (IBM) and one of the strategic priorities for the agency’s work.

Together with partners from outside of the EU, Frontex works to develop an increasingly connected global border management community that lives up to the highest standards for border management, coast guarding, law enforcement and return, guarantees the protection of fundamental rights and closely cooperates addressing irregular migration and cross-border crime.

Frontex develops and maintains a reliable network of partnerships with the competent authorities of non-EU countries, particularly in countries neighbouring the EU, as well as in countries of origin and transit for irregular migration.

For more information, please refer to the brochure Frontex: Beyond EU borders.

Cooperation priorities and principles

Cooperation with non-EU countries is based on clear priorities outlined in the Frontex International Cooperation Strategy. Frontex is committed to ensure that the agency’s international cooperation work is:

  • coherent with EU laws and policies, including its foreign and security policy;
  • implemented in partnership with other relevant EU actors;
  • always respects fundamental rights;
  • risk analysis driven;
  • considerate to mutual interests of both parties and
  • committed to sustainable solutions.

Areas of cooperation

Frontex international cooperation spans across all areas of the agency’s operational work, from information exchange, risk analysis, joint operations, to return, training, research and innovation.

Cooperation is usually based on working arrangements signed between the agency and the competent authorities of the non-EU country.

Our partners take part and contribute to various Frontex activities, and benefit from the agency’s support in terms of technical assistance and training. For example:

  • A wide network of Frontex-led regional intelligence sharing communities plays a crucial role in facilitating information and knowledge sharing, as well as joint analysis between the EU and the participating non-EU countries. These include the Western Balkans Risk Analysis Network (WB-RAN), the Eastern Partnership Risk Analysis Network (EaP-RAN), the Turkey-Frontex Risk Analysis Network (TU-RAN) and the Africa Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC).
  • Observers from certain non-EU countries can, with consent of the host Member State, be invited to participate in the agency’s operational activities.
  • A number of coordination points have been established at border crossing points between two non-EU countries that have a working arrangement with Frontex, and are activated for a defined period on the request of the partner countries. Observers from the European Border and Coast Guard Teams are then deployed to these coordination points to facilitate cooperation and information exchange, particularly in relation to early detection of irregular migration trends.
  • Frontex can also support countries neighbouring the EU with Frontex coordinated joint operations with executive powers. An international status agreement with that country will have to be concluded by the EU for this purpose.
  • EU funded technical assistance projects complement and enhance the agency’s external cooperation work, supporting the development of sustainable border and migration management solutions in non-EU countries.
  • Frontex Liaison Officers in non-EU countries facilitate dialogue and the implementation of cooperation on the ground.

International fora

Frontex contributes to the implementation of bilateral and regional cooperation frameworks on migration and fosters regular dialogue with non-EU countries by contributing to multilateral fora. We support the work under the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM), the Khartoum-, Rabat-, Budapest Processes, the Valetta Summit follow-up and other Commission-led initiatives. We offer expertise and contribute to ensuring sustainability of these platforms.

The agency also continues to facilitate dialogue at operational level through Frontex-led initiatives such as the International Border Police Conference (IBPC).

Working Arrangements

Frontex has concluded working arrangements with the authorities of 18 countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cape Verde, North Macedonia, Georgia, Kosovo*, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.

The agency has also signed working arrangements with the CIS Border Troop Commanders Council and the MARRI Regional Centre in the Western Balkans.

All Working Arrangements can be found here.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSC 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

Technical assistance projects in non-EU countries

Frontex continues to strengthen its cooperation with non-EU countries through targeted technical assistance projects, utilising various Commission funding instruments. The agency strives to ensure that its technical assistance action complement EU’s overall external relations policies. While each project focuses on a different priority region and topics, all project activities address specific needs of the beneficiary countries and support them in building their capacities in the field of border security and management. The technical assistance projects contribute to laying the foundation for strategic cooperation, or build up on already established functional relationships between Frontex and the national authorities of relevant countries.

Currently, three EU-funded projects are being implemented with an overall funding of 14 million euros, and a fourth one is in preparation:

EU4BorderSecurity (Read about Frontex in Arabic)

Beneficiary countries:  Southern Neighbourhood countries
Timeframe: Dec 2018-Dec 2021
EU Grant: 4 million euros (European Neighbourhood Instrument/DG NEAR)
Project goals:

  • to enhance border security in the Southern Mediterranean region, particularly North Africa and the Levant, by fostering bilateral and regional cooperation
  • to familiarise the participating countries with the mandate and work of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency
  • to build trust, understanding, structured partnerships, and exchange of experiences and practices in the Integrated Border Management (IBM) domain
  • to enhance the capacity of the participating countries to conduct risk analysis, situation monitoring, as well as tactical border and coast guard operations, thus contributing to the fight against security threats, particularly organised crime and terrorism in the region.

EU4BorderSecurity at a glance - factsheet about the project.

Strengthening the Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC)

Beneficiary countries:
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia.
Timeframe: 2017- 2023
EU Grant: 4 million euros (funded by the European Union)
Project goals:

  • Consolidated and enhanced inter-regional information-sharing structures of border management authorities aiming at establishing more direct cooperation channels, sharing common challenges and possibly finding common responses, thus contributing to a more effective border management system; 
  • Reinforced operational and technical capabilities of the partner countries, through providing support for information exchange that can lead to investigations to dismantle criminal networks;
  • Increased capacities of beneficiary countries to draft and share strategic and operational risk analysis on regular and irregular migration flows, border security, cross-border crime, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings.
  • Six risk analysis cells were established: Niger, Nigeria, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, and Senegal. More RACs  to be opened soon; 
  • Capacity building activities through plenary and regional workshops, joint analytical field missions etc. are contributing to local ownership and appropriation; 
  • Over 50 workshops and expert meetings; 
  • Supporting the sharing of over 250 reports within the AFIC network.

Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management in the Western Balkans and Turkey (IPA II), Phase II

Beneficiary countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey
Timeframe: 01/07/2019 – 30/06/2021
Project Partners: EASO, IOM, UNHCR
EU Grant: 3,4 million euros (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance/DG NEAR)
Project goals:

  • to introduce and share EU standards and best practices on protection-sensitive migration management;
  • to support the beneficiaries in developing a protection-sensitive response to mixed migration flows by strengthening their identification, registration, referral, asylum systems and return mechanisms.

Eastern Partnership Integrated Border Management Capacity Building Project (EaP)

Beneficiary countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine
Timeframe: 07/2014-12/2018
Project partners: ICMPD, IOM, WCO
EU Grant: 4.5 million euros (European Neighbourhood Instrument/DG NEAR)
Project goals:

  • to improve training capacity of the project’s beneficiaries;
  • to implement tailored training programmes;
  • to enhance the ability of the agencies involved in border management to improve security, protect vulnerable individuals (including asylum seekers, victims of human trafficking), prevent cross-border crime, decrease corruption and enhance professionalism.

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