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Changes in the regulations on the European Border Guard may limit Polish sovereignty

Published: 08.04.2019

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The European Parliament will soon deal with the extension of the powers of the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex) proposed by the European Commission. The aim of the changes is to give this agency new powers, including the possibility of compulsory deployment of officers with the right to use force, service weapon, ammunition and equipment on the Member States territory. Experts from the Ordo Iuris Institute have prepared an analysis of the draft regulation.


The Commission's proposal assumes increasing the number of Frontex officers to 10,000 and introducing the possibility of compulsory deployment of EU officers with the right to use force on the Member States territory. According to the draft regulation, the authority to make decisions in this respect falls to the European Commission. The plans for expanding Frontex powers, presented by the European Commission, aroused concern among Member States as well as members of the European Parliament. Many amendments to the Commission's draft regulation were tabled by the Council (known as the Council of the European Union composed of the ministers of individual Member States) and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament (LIBE), which proposed as many as 511. The European Parliament will vote on amendment proposals at the April plenary session. They are supported by the largest fractions (the European People's Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), which is why they are highly likely to be adopted.


Despite the lack of acceptance for a large number of specific solutions, neither the Council nor LIBE seek to abandon the very concept of forced relocation of EU border forces in Member States, despite raising doubts as to its compliance with EU founding treaties. The amendments tabled by these bodies are aimed at strengthening, at the expense of the European Commission, the position of the Council and Member States, including the host country, that is, the country "using help of the EU border guard." In the light of the amendments proposed by the Council and LIBE, the powers that were to fall to the European Commission, are to be transferred to the EU Council. It would take decisions by a qualified majority, at least 55% of Council members representing the participating Member States, whose total population constitutes at least 65% of the population of these countries. The fate of the draft regulation will be decided during the vote at the April plenary session of the European Parliament. If the Council fully accepts the draft regulation adopted by the EP, it will come into force in that wording. If, however, it has comments on the draft regulation, the procedure will continue.


"The most controversial issue of the compulsory deployment of officers of the European Border and Coast Guard in the area of Member States seems a foregone conclusion. The Council will probably have the power in this regard. In our opinion, instead of creating an extensive body of its own border forces, the Union - in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality - should improve the coordination system and subsidise the services of individual Member States that know local conditions and needs better" – says Marcin Olszówka, Ph.D., coordinator of the Ordo Iuris Analysis Centre.


The Ordo Iuris Institute constantly monitors the work of the EU institutions regarding changes in the system of protection of Member State borders that could compromise Polish sovereignty.

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