Europe's internal borders fell in 1995 when the Schengen Area came into force. But there are still Europe's external borders to monitor and control. This is a responsibility of the Member States. However, since 2005, a European agency known as Frontex, has been supporting the management of the EU's external borders. It is controlled and regulated by the European Parliament, among others.

How does Frontex provide this support?

It coordinates cooperation between Member States, it helps Member States in training border guards; it monitors research in its areas of activity; it supports the states in returning home foreign nationals who've stayed illegally and it conducts risk analysis.

Frontex carries its operational activities on the basis of these risk analyses, of illegal immigration and trafficking of women and children, for example. The budget the EU Parliament sets for Frontex is around 80-90 million euros per year. 300 people work directly for the agency whose headquarters is in Warsaw, Poland. But, with regard to logistics on the ground... Coordinating the ships, helicopters, patrol aircraft, experts and border guards, the Member States mobilise and provide the human resources and equipment for these.

Frontex itself is involved in several surveillance operations around the EU. Every year, thousands of stowaways are registered. They come mainly by land, for the most part from the east and by sea from the south, especially across the Mediterranean. But also, many come by air from a host of airports. When a country faces a sudden and exceptional influx of illegal immigration, they can call on Frontex for extra technical and operational assistance for a limited period. This comes in the form of RABITS, Rapid Border Intervention Teams that are made up of border guards from other EU countries. 

Credit to EuroparlTV