As part of its function to supervise the implementation of the EU treaties and legislation, the European Commission oversees the work of EU agencies, including Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. For this reason, two representatives of DG HOME represent the Commission on the Frontex Management Board. The Frontex Regulation also requires that the European Commission be kept regularly informed of agency activities.
Frontex falls within the responsibility and portfolio of its “parent DG”, Commission Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME), and the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Ylva Johansson. In practice, Frontex also cooperates with many of the Directorates and bodies within the European Commission.
Beyond supporting the implementation of existing policies, Frontex also contributes to various areas of Commission work particularly by providing its technical expertise. This can include input at the consultation stage of legislative proposals, or regular attendance to Commission-run expert groups and networks (such as the European Network on Migration).
In addition, the European Commission has a number of specific and important powers stemming from the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation.
In situations at the external borders requiring urgent action, as part of the procedure laid down in Article 19, the Commission may propose decisions to be taken by the Council requiring a Member State to cooperate with the agency in the implementation of measures to mitigate risks at the external borders.
The Commission may delegate relevant powers to Frontex when it implements border security related parts of the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It also provides prior approval to proposed Frontex working arrangements with EU or non-EU institutions, agencies, organisations or countries. Every four years, the Commission contracts independent external evaluations to assess the agency’s work, results achieved and possible need to modify its mandate. Finally, the European Commission also has an important role in coordinating the activities of the migration management support teams deployed in hotspot areas.
Frontex also cooperates with the European Commission’s DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), the DG for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), the DG for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), the Secretariat-General, the Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE), Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), Eurostat and more beside.Frontex may benefit from EU funding delegated from the funding instruments relevant to EU external actions (for example managed by DG NEAR or DG DEVCO). This is notably the case when Frontex launches and finances technical assistance projects in non-EU countries.