Montenegro and the European Union signed a border management agreement on October 7th, between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and Montenegro. Frontex will now be able to assist Montenegro with border control as a result of this agreement. They will be allowed to carry out coordinated operations as well as deploy troops along the Montenegrin-EU border. The agreement’s purpose is to combat illegal immigration while also improving security.
The agreement was signed on behalf of the EU by Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior of Finland and President of the Council, and Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, and on behalf of Montenegro by Mevludin Nuhodi, Minister of the Interior.
“The goal of this agreement is to allow Frontex to coordinate operational cooperation between EU Member states and Montenegro on the management of the borders that the European Union and Montenegro share,” said Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo.
The minister said, “The signing of this agreement is another another example of our growing and stronger partnership with Montenegro. It will benefit both sides, particularly by improving border management actions.”
Increased and enhanced collaboration between Frontex and other foreign nations will help to combat illicit immigration. Furthermore, it will contribute to increased security at the EU’s external frontiers.
The European Parliament will amend the accord and grant its approval to proceed.
SECURITY REMAINS A PRIORITY FOR THE EU
The European Union is focused on emphasising regional security. It has made significant steps in recent years to improve border security. The deal reached between Montenegro and the EU is the second of its kind. Albania concluded a similar deal with the EU in October 2018.
Montenegro and the EU commenced discussions on July 5, 2018, and the draught status agreement was presented in February 2019 by Commissioner Avramopoulos and Montenegro Interior Minister Mevludin Nuhodi. Following that, the European Council authorised the agreement’s signing on March 19th of this year. North Macedonia signed a similar agreement in July 2018, Serbia in September 2018, and Bosnia and Herzegovina in January 2019. They have yet to be completed, though.
According to the European Council, “on 22 May this year, Frontex conducted the first-ever combined operation on the territory of a neighbouring non-EU nation in Albania.” Frontex is authorised to conduct deployments and collaborative operations in the territory of non-EU neighbours. Nonetheless, an agreement between the EU and the neighbouring country must first be signed.
Following the European Commission’s proposal earlier this year, the European Parliament and Council agreed to strengthen the EU’s shared external border and the Coast Guard. To combat crime and illegal immigration, the EU must collaborate closely with non-EU countries.
The EU has already invested in the establishment of a travel electronic authorisation system for third-country nationals as it concentrates on collaborating with neighbouring nations. ETIAS (Electronic Travel and Information Authorization System) is intended to make a significant contribution to improving the security of the EU’s external borders.
Several EU information systems, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS), the Visa Information System (VIS), Europol, and the Eurodac database, already contribute to security. ETIAS, on the other hand, will become a necessary travel permission for people of more than 60 countries. At the moment, visitors from 62 countries can enter the Schengen Area without a visa or travel authorization.
ETIAS would contribute to EU residents‘ security by detecting those who may represent a threat or have committed fraud (stolen or falsified a passport for example). Following the submission of an ETIAS application, the applicant’s data will be checked against security databases.
The European Union has a comprehensive security agenda. The area is facing a number of new and complicated security risks. As a result, developing new systems and working on closer cooperation at many different levels has become critical. One approach is to work with neighbouring countries, while another is to implement ETIAS. Threats are becoming more diverse and international, necessitating a coordinated response.