A law which will revamp the European Border and Coast Guard has been adopted by the European Parliament in record time and will be a game-changer in the way that the European Union protects its borders, manages migration and guarantees security. This was a core goal for the EPP Group in the European Parliament and today’s vote is one that provides a concrete response to people’s concerns.

Roberta Metsola MEP, the Parliament’s Rapporteur for the new law, explained that today’s firm approval by the European Parliament is a big win for all Europeans. “In less than six months, we managed to draft, negotiate and approve a new law which will provide a response to the topmost concern of people in every Member State. This makes them more secure. Europeans will feel safer at home, as the continent’s borders will be better managed, and there will be new tools to combat cross-border crime.”

One of the main proposals pushed forward by the EPP Group is the addition of 10,000 border and coast guards and operational staff. “These guards will be in a position to assist Member States in carrying out border control checks, as well as facilitating the process of returns. They can also be called by Member States in cases of emergency”, Metsola said. In fact, in such circumstances, the Agency will now also be in a position to provide equipment such as airplanes and boats, within a maximum of a few days.

The revamped agency will be crucial to facilitate the process of returns of those individuals who are deemed not eligible for protection in the Union. “My policy throughout the negotiations was clear: we need to be fair with those in need of protection, firm with those who are not, and harsh with those who seek to exploit the most vulnerable. And this process should be done as swiftly as possible”, Metsola said. The Agency will now be in a position to identify irregular individuals in the Union, as well as assist national authorities to obtain their travel documents.

Concluding, Metsola said: “This is a proud moment for Europe. People asked and we delivered in record time. We will now ensure that the revamp of the European Border and Coast Guard is done as swiftly as possible.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 216 Members from 28 Member States

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