European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos hailed the launch of the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency on Thursday, saying it is the EU’s unified response to common challenges such as migration and security.
“Tomorrow is an important day for Europe. We inaugurate the European Border and Coast Guard Agency,” Avramopoulos told Athens-Macedonian News Agency. “This is the response we give as a united Europe to the common challenges in the fields of migration and security. We put in practice the principles of solidarity and responsibility between member-states and the Union.”
The Commissioner also noted the new agency will enhance the protection of Europe’s external borders which coincide with those of every member-state.
“The creation of a European Border and Coast Guard was my priority. For years the Greek Border Guard has been giving daily battles to protect tour country’s borders, saving lives and making us proud,” he added.
According to the European Commission, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will become operational as of October 6 at the Bulgarian external border with Turkey. Its aim is to ensure Union standards for border management are implemented at all external borders and carry out periodic risk analyses and mandatory vulnerability assessments to identify and address weak spots. It will also be able to draw on a rapid reserve pool of at least 1,500 border guards and a technical equipment pool, as well as play an enhanced role in return operations.