European Western Balkans

EU concludes agreements with Montenegro and Serbia on Frontex cooperation

Frontex; Photo: EU Delegation to Serbia

BRUSSELS – The Council of the EU today adopted two decisions to conclude the agreements with Montenegro and Serbia on border management cooperation between these countries and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).

“Close cooperation with our Western Balkan partners is essential if we are to address the shared migratory challenges which we face. The agreements concluded today on border management cooperation with Montenegro and Serbia are an important part of our overall strategy on border management”, said Davor Božinović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Croatia, which is currently holding the presidency.

It is stated in a press release that these agreements will allow Frontex to assist Montenegro and Serbia in border management, carry out joint operations and deploy teams in the regions of these countries that border the EU, subject to the country’s agreement.

It is added that these activities are aimed at tackling illegal immigration, in particular sudden changes in migratory flows, and cross-border crime, and can involve the provision of increased technical and operational assistance at the border.

The agreement will enter into force on 1 July in Montenegro, however the conclusion procedure by Serbia has not yet been finalised. Once that is the case, the agreement will enter into force in Serbia.

Last year, a first agreement on border management cooperation was concluded with Albania and similar status agreements have also been initialled with North Macedonia (July 2018) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (January 2019) and are pending finalisation.

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