Press Advisories

15. 10. 2018 20:52

At his visit to Frontex, Prime Minister Babiš stressed verification of expenditure and substantial strengthening of external border protection

At his visit to Poland, Premier Babiš learnt about the activity of the Frontex Agency.
At his visit to Poland, Premier Babiš learnt about the activity of the Frontex Agency.

On Monday, 15 October 2018, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš visited the Republic of Poland where his first steps led to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and then to a meeting with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. With him, he spoke about migration, internal security, Brexit as well as the preparation of the future European budget.

With Executive Director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, Premier Andrej Babiš discussed the activity and financing of the Agency, mainly in connection with the proposed multi-annual financial framework for the period 2021-2027 and with the submitted revision of the Frontex mandate, which envisage strengthening the Agency. Newly, it is proposed to establish within Frontex a central unit of ETIAS (newly prepared electronic visas for states with no visa required for entering the EU). Premier Babiš again emphasised the need to strengthen the protection of external borders, to streamline the returns and enhance cooperation with third countries. It will be crucial for the Czech Republic that the responsibility for protecting the external borders remains in the hands of the Member States.

"Frontex does a good job in monitoring and in the return policy. I believe that the Agency should get more engaged also outside Europe and help North African countries. Concerning the budget increase for the Agency, I would like to look at whether it is necessary to raise the number of coastal guard members,“ said Prime Minister Babiš.

In 2018, the total budget of the Agency was EUR 320 million, of which EUR 234 million was spent on specific operations. The total costs of the proposed modernisation of the Agency amount to EUR 1.3 billion in the period 2019-2020. In the proposal of the next multi-annual financial framework, the European Commission proposes allocating EUR 10 billion more to Frontex than in the current financial framework.

The Premier also saw the situation rooms where views from the observation devices are live streamed, and he met with representatives of Czechs who work in the Agency. The Czech national EBCG team (European Border and Coast Guard Team) has currently 186 persons who are sent regularly to joint operations of Frontex. Last year, the Czech Republic sent 160 Czech police members into the Frontex activities, in 2018 it is prepared to send 173 police members based on a signed agreement. Since 2015, Czechia has provided such assistance to Italy, Greece, Hungary, Poland and many other countries.

The main topics discussed by Premiers Babiš and Morawiecki were migration solutions, the issue of internal security, the multi-annual financial framework and Brexit. The statesmen also spoke about the preparation of joint inter-governmental consultations that will take place on 15 November 2018 in Prague. It will be already the fifth meeting of the Czech and Polish Governments. Premier Babiš also remembered the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia at the end of October. Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki confirmed to him during their meeting that he would participate personally in the Prague celebrations.

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