Press Advisories

23. 1. 2009 9:58

External Borders Fund 2007-2013 – Czech Republic

Procuring new IT equipment and training its staff, the Czech Republic will reinforce its border control.

The Commission has adopted the multiannual programme under the External Borders Fund 2007-2013 for the Czech Republic for an estimated amount of € 21 million, together with the first annual programme (2007).

Vice President Jacques Barrot in charge of the Justice, Freedom and Security portfolio, welcomed the adoption of the multiannual programme of the Czech Republic for the implementation of the External Borders Fund. "With the approval of this multiannual programme, the Czech Republic will participate in the establishment of the common integrated border management system. By increasing security both at international airports and consular offices, by procuring new IT equipment and training its staff, the Czech Republic will reinforce its border control which will help it meet the challenges on behalf of the EU."

The Czech Republic has chosen to implement four of the Fund's five strategic priorities:

1 . Further gradual establishment of the common integrated border management system;

2.  Support for the issuing of visas and the tackling of illegal immigration by the consular services of the Member States in third countries;

3.  Establishment of IT systems required by Community rules on external borders and visas (VIS and SIS);

4.  Application of the Community rules on external borders and visas, in particular the Schengen Borders Code and the European Code on Visas.

Among the projects financed in the 2007 annual programme in the Czech Republic are:

- Improving the infrastructure in consular offices in order to increase the security at the visa sections;

- Purchase of equipment for capturing biometric features at consular offices handling visa applications;

- Setting up and carrying out a training programme for consular staff handling visa applications from third-country nationals.

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Background:

The External Borders Fund is one of the four financial instruments of the General Programme on "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" which encourages a fair share of responsibilities between Member States arising from the introduction of integrated management of the external borders and from the implementation of common policies on asylum and immigration. The other three Funds are: the European Fund for the Integration of Third country nationals, the European Return Fund and the European Refugee Fund.

The External Borders Fund establishes a financial solidarity mechanism to support countries which endure, for the benefit of the Community, a lasting and heavy financial burden arising from the implementation of common standards on control and surveillance of external borders and visa policy.

The overall budget of this Fund for 2007-2013 is € 1820 million, distributed as follows:

€ 1543 million distributed among Member States on the basis of objective criteria expressing the burden of each state for external border control and visa policy for actions under national programmes;

€ 109 million (6%) directly managed by the Commission and dedicated to Community actions.

€ 108 million for the Kaliningrad transit scheme implemented by Lithuania

€ 60 million for specific actions at strategic border points at the external borders on the basis of risk analyses carried out by the FRONTEX Agency.

For more information on the activities of Vice-President Barrot, please see:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/barrot/index_en.htm

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