In March 2017, the European Commission will publish its second monthly report on the progress achieved and the work still needed in making the new European Border and Coast Guard Agency fully operational.
The European Border and Coast Guard was launched on 6 October 2016, and is a key element in strengthening control of the EU external borders. Its full functioning should allow for a return to the Schengen principles of free travel without internal borders. As reported in the 1st progress report on making the European Border and Coast Guard operational, important steps have already been completed, including the setting up of mandatory rapid reaction pools for border guards and equipment and the launch of new pools for return intervention teams. These can be deployed in support of Member States who have the primary role and competence in reinforcing the control at the external border.