The UK agreed a deal with the EU Friday for a long-term framework for close cooperation with the EU’s border agency Frontex to tackle illegal migration and cross-border crime. The working arranmgement was signed in London in the presence of British Home Secretary James Cleverly and the EU’s Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

Ms Johansson welcomed the agreement, which, she said, would ensure “an integrated border management which is efficient, sustainable and in line with international standards and EU values.” Frontex is the EU’s Border and Coast Guard Agency which provides support to EU Member States in managing and securing the EU’s external borders.

The working arrangement establishes – “in full compliance with the EU and UK’s international human rights obligations” – a framework for ‘mutually beneficial cooperation’ across a range of operational areas in the area of border management, including situational awareness and risk analysis, information exchange, training, capacity-building and expertise sharing in the area of return and border management, as well as technical and operational cooperation (including the possibility to deploy staff on both sides for observation, coordination or advisory purposes).

Additionally, cooperation on research and innovation projects will facilitate the exchange of cutting-edge knowledge to support the Frontex’s activities. The working arrangement also provides for the opportunity to exchange liaison officers, with a hoped-for boost to the effectiveness of the cooperation between the EU and the UK.

Cooperation in the short term could include working together on areas such as developing situational awareness of migration routes or cooperating on combatting document fraud, with a view to expanding the work of Frontex and UK agencies in the longer term. Following the signature of the working arrangement Frontex and the UK will hold further discussions to agree on detailed cooperation and operational plans that will provide for a wide range of joint activities over the coming months and beyond.

Source: EUbusiness

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