Achieving a major objective of the EPP Group, the European Union will now be able to better protect its external borders, fight cross-border crime and effectively implement returns of irregular migrants.

After the approval of the new law governing the European Border and Coast Guard in the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, the EU will boost its personnel by 10,000. They will be able to intervene to protect the Union’s external borders.

Roberta Metsola MEP, Parliament’s author of the file, said: “I am pleased we have got this far this quickly. The added value of Europe acting on the number one concern of citizens across the Union is clear. This new legislation’s main aim is to better protect our borders which means enhanced security for European citizens. When it comes to migration, the EPP Group has always been fair with those in need of protection, firm with those who are not, and harsh with those who seek to exploit the most vulnerable. Today’s vote goes very much in that direction."

The European Union’s borders will now be better protected by a standing corps of 10,000 operational staff who will mainly work to prevent cross-border crime and to tackle irregular migration. Acting upon directions by Member States, the staff will be able to check the identity of those crossing the borders and help with decisions authorising or refusing their entry to the European Union.

The new law will also ensure stronger cooperation with third countries, which will facilitate the implementation of returns. Metsola, who is also the EPP Group Spokeswoman in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, added: “The European Union will now have the tools to not only respond to the migration crisis, but also to prevent such crises. European citizens are right to expect us to guarantee their security and to put their minds at rest that those entering Europe have every right to do so.” The Agency will be able to identify individuals who are in Europe irregularly and help Member States’ national authorities in the return process.

Parliament will now enter into negotiations with the Member States on the dossier.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 28 Member States

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