EU recruiting 10,000 border guards as Metsola law comes into force

The 10,000 border guard corp will be the first EU force representing the bloc as a whole

The Frontex European border guard corp is expected to number 10,000 officers by 2027
The Frontex European border guard corp is expected to number 10,000 officers by 2027

The European Union formally established its first standalone border force with a new permanent corps that will number 10,000 officers by 2027, instituted by a law drafted and negotiated by Nationalist Party MEP Roberta Metsola.

This is the first attempt by the EU to have its own uniformed force. This was made possible after the European Parliament approved Metsola's proposal earlier this year.

The new law, guaranteeing 10,000 new borders guards at Europe's external borders has been signed into European law on Wednesday in a ceremony in the European parliament.

"This new law would mean that, against all odds, we are over the final hurdle to having a new force of 10,000 border guards and operational staff in place in the next years. These are the numbers we need to secure our borders, boost the fight against cross border crime, ensure the protection of fundamental rights and help manage migration,” Metsola said.

PN MEP Roberta Metsola
PN MEP Roberta Metsola

Frontex, the border and coast guard agency for the bloc's Schengen area, has been recruiting border guards which will wear its uniform and will be on its payroll. While Frontex already has 1,500 active officers, they are currently seconded to it by member states for short missions.

The 10,000 guards will be directly employed by Frontex, representing the EU as a bloc.

"Securing our external borders and ensuring that member states fulfil their responsibilities is an absolutely critical piece of addressing the migration puzzle. It is not a standalone solution but it is a necessary step that must be taken hand-in-hand with others. Now, in the eventuality of a crisis situation similar to what we saw in 2015, nations on the external borders, including countries like Malta and Gozo, can request the deployment of the rapid intervention force to help deal with the situation," Metsola said.

She claimed that the new standing corp will also improve the return operations for those people are not eligible for protection in Europe. The 10,000 force will aid member states in the identification of irregular migrants and help in the assessment and procurement of travel documents and the return of ineligible people to return to their countries of origin. 

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