Publication date 09.03.2017

Poland and Frontex sign the agreement on the Frontex headquarters in Warsaw

“Today is a good day for Poland and for Frontex which will have its permanent headquarters in Warsaw. The Polish government decided to transfer a plot of land at Racławicka street to the Agency which will build its headquarters there,” said Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

Poland and Frontex sign the agreement on the Frontex headquarters in Warsaw

“Today is a good day for Poland and for Frontex which will have its permanent headquarters in Warsaw. The Polish government decided to transfer a plot of land at Racławicka street to the Agency which will build its headquarters there,” said Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

The agreement signed on Thursday regulates the issues related to the permanent headquarters of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in Warsaw. The Minister of the Interior and Administration stressed that the Polish government made efforts to complete the negotiations within an exceptionally short period, defined by the EU Regulation. It is worth pointing out, in particular in the context of ineffective talks on this issue conducted for many years by the previous government. – “For years Frontex had been a guest in Poland, most welcome guest, but still only a guest. Today we may say that Frontex is the co-host here in Poland, in Warsaw,” said Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

The Minister of the Interior and Administration stated that Frontex was extremely important for the security of Europe, since it protected external borders of the European Union. “It is extremely important, in particular at the time of migration crisis,” emphasized the Minister.

The Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri signed the agreement on behalf of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency . He stated that the signed agreement on the Frontex headquarters was key for the development of the Agency.  “Frontex will grow in the coming years with the certainty about its future here in Poland. We are sending a clear signal: Warsaw and Poland are an excellent place for work of Frontex. The home of Frontex is in Warsaw,” stressed Fabrice Leggeri, saying the last sentence in Polish.

Apart from the Frontex headquarters, the agreement also regulates the legal status for the agency and its employees. “Frontex will be the largest European agency. The fact that its permanent headquarters will be in Warsaw points to a growing role of Poland in protection of external borders of the European Union,” said Jakub Skiba, Deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration.

The mission of Frontex

The Regulation (EU) on the European Border and Coast Guard entered into force in October 2016. Its key element is a new mandate for Frontex. The adopted changes extend the role and activities of the Agency. The number of its permanent staff is to increase over two-fold, from the current level of 400 to 600 at the end of the year and 1000 in 2020. Frontex will also have its own equipment and will use it in cross-border operations.

The main tasks of the Agency include assisting in the management of the external borders of the European Union, monitoring migratory flows and carrying out periodic risk analyses, as well as providing operational and technical assistance to Member States.

The Agency will also have intervention teams with at least 1500 border guard officers from individual Member States. Poland will make a substantial contribution to such teams. Poland declared its readiness to deploy 100 officers of the Border Guard. Frontex will also provide support by carrying out periodical risk analyses and vulnerability assessments in the EU countries.

Polish Border Guard protects the EU external borders

The agreement is also a sign of responsibility and solidarity at the time of migration crisis in the entire European Union. Polish services actively support the protection of the EU external border. Polish officers participate in activities coordinated by Frontex. The largest support, including the use of an Anakonda helicopter, was provided to Greece.  The Border Guard officers also participated in missions in Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, Italy and Hungary. “Today the Polish border guard officers are on missions coordinated by Frontex e.g. in Greece and Bulgaria,” stressed Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

Within the framework of bilateral international agreements, Polish officers supported their colleagues i.a. in Slovenia, Hungary and Macedonia. A few days ago, the Border Guard officers began another mission in Macedonia. Until 4 April 2017, 30 Border Guard officers support the Macedonian Police in activities related to counteracting the migration crisis. It is a fourth mission at the Macedonian-Greek border during which the Border Guard officers prevent illegal crossing of the border, register applications for international protection and examine the authenticity of documents.

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