VIEWS EXPRESSED HERE ARE THE VIEWS OF THE NATIONAL DELEGATION AND DO NOT ALWAYS REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE GROUP AS A WHOLE

Today the European Parliament has voted on the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency. MEP Viviane Reding welcomed this timely and quick achievement: "The latest Eurobarometer from April 2016 shows that 71% of European citizens believe that the European Union should do more for the protection of our external borders. Today the European Union shows that it is capable to deliver on citizen's expectations."

The European Border & Coast Guard will expand and improve on the Frontex-agency. An obligatory rapid-reaction pool of 1500 border-guards and equipment, an expanded mandate, liaison officers that will monitor the management of the external borders, in combination with increased accountability to European Parliament and the Council, and increased Fundamental Rights safeguards, will all contribute to an improved capacity to act and assist Member States in their duties of managing the external borders.

Viviane Reding commented on the importance of the new agency for the functioning of the Schengen-zone: "If we want the next generation to enjoy the freedom and benefits that Schengen has offered to our generation, it is of utmost importance to take serious our commitment to the joint management of our external borders. This responsibility must be shared and not shifted only on those Member States that have an external border. This is a necessary step towards the re-establishment of a fully functional Schengen-zone!"

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 215 Members from 27 Member States

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