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Brussels, 22 June 2011

Commissioner Malmström welcomes political agreement on the proposal to amend the Frontex Regulation

Just a day before the European Council, which will discuss migration and borders, a political consensus was reached between the negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the proposal amending the Frontex Regulation. , The agreement comes a year and half after the Commission tabled its proposal in February 2010. Once formally adopted the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX) will have a stronger mandate to better and more effectively protect the European Union's external borders.

Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs, said: "Frontex plays an important role when it comes to the protection of the external borders of the EU and the coordination of joint operations between Member States. The ongoing operations in the Mediterranean have once again highlighted the crucial role of the agency and the importance of the search and rescue operations taking place under its coordination.

I very much welcome this political agreement which confirms the EU's commitment to strengthening the operational capabilities of Frontex, also ensuring that the activities of the Agency will take place in full respect of the European fundamental rights provisions. This proposal will ensure that, in the performance of their tasks, members of Frontex teams fully respect fundamental rights and human dignity, including the principle of non-refoulement.

I am confident that the text will be adopted swiftly. It will provide an increased operational capacity and a stronger operational mandate to the agency and contribute to improved EU border management. The new mandate will also allow FRONTEX to cooperate more effectively with the competent border control authorities of countries of origin and transit of migrants. As such it will contribute to increasing the EU's capacity to deal with irregular migration flows".

Next steps:

The European Parliament and the Council will now vote on the amending Regulation, to formally adopt it.

For more information on the Commission proposal see MEMO/10/45.

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