To highlight the multi-actor framework in which border management takes place and the role that the local and regional level can have within this framework;
to assess relevant aspects of the proposed enhancement of Frontex Agency´s competencies and increase of budget;
to stress the need for LRAs concerned to be properly involved in the exchange of information and the policy making in the area of border management.
During the opinion process, the CoR stregthened its relations with several key stakeholders, including the EP Rapporteur Roberta Metsola (MT, EPP), who met with the CoR Rapporteur to discuss their views on teh file and presented her draft report at the Plenary Session where the CoR opinion was adopted. Rapporteur Magyar also met the Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri with whom possible future presentation of Frontex activities in one of CoR future meetings was discussed.
The compromise text reached between the Council and the Parliament in April 2019 is in line with a number of claims of the CoR opinion. These include strengthening of the aspect of respect for and protection of fundamental rights, stressed througout the text of the regulation (and in particular, as regard the principle of non-refoulement), for which the CoR called strongly, as well as more gradual establishment of the standing corps (and stronger consideration of the use of the available capacities by the Member States), and a creation of a forth category of "Reserve for Rapid Reaction".
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
recognises that the effective control of the EU's external borders is an important integral part of a comprehensive EU policy on migration, and in this context the proposed reinforcement of the European Border and Coast Guard may be necessary; underlines however, as stated in the recent CoR opinion on the asylum and migration fund, that the growth of financial and operational resources for border protection must be matched by corresponding efforts to enhance the other aspects of the EU's migration policy in order to guarantee a balanced approach;
emphasises the fact that the temporary reintroduction of border controls at internal borders severely jeopardises the ability of neighbouring regions to cooperate with each other, and moreover has severe impacts on regional economies, and that therefore, effective external border controls are essential;
recognises as necessary that obligations are laid on the Member States to contribute to the Agency's joint operations, but is concerned about the proposal to create a standing corps of up to 10 000 operational staff, as the deployment of national border guards and national staff to the Agency may result in a possible brain drain; underlines that the creation of such new structures must not place an additional burden on local and regional authorities, especially in border regions; or endanger the performance of tasks carried out at the external borders by existing national, regional or local structures, and therefore proposes a more realistic and gradual establishment of the standing corps in Annex I;
stresses that an effective return policy is a key element of a comprehensive approach to migration and that the Agency must, therefore, be able to support Member States in the area of returns, in compliance with international and EU law, ensuring that the principle of non-refoulement is respected;
stresses the multi-actor framework in which border management takes place and the role that the local and regional level can have within this framework, as reflected in Article 22. Notes, in this context, that the local and regional authorities concerned (such as those managing border and coastal regions) should be properly involved in the exchange of information, especially as regards the national coordination centres (Article 21) and in the preparation of national strategies for integrated border management (Article 8).