EU Border Guards to Target Illegal Migration in Montenegro

Frontex officers check equipment in Skopje, North Macedonia. Photo: EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI

Adzic signed an agreement with EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson and justice minister Gunnar Strommer to allow the deployment of the Frontex officers in Montenegro.

According to the agreement, Montenegrin police and Frontex can also organise joint operations.

Adzic said that the agreement will replace the current one from 2020, which provided for joint protection of the border between Montenegro and Croatia, the country's only EU neighbour state.

"Frontex officers will be on all Montenegrin borders with neighbouring countries, not only Croatia. It will contribute to addressing irregular migration and further enhance security at the EU's external borders," Adzic said.

According to Montenegrin official data, more than 8,500 migrants were registered crossing into the country last year, 150 per cent more than in 2021.

On May 14, the European Council confirmed the decision to sign the agreement with Montenegro but stressed that the Balkan state remains ultimately responsible for the protection of its own borders.

The agreement has to be confirmed in the European Parliament and the Montenegrin parliament.

According to the agreement, Frontex is able to lend both technical and operational support, while its teams will be able to support Montenegrin border guards in carrying out border checks at crossing points and preventing unauthorised entries.

The agreement also allows Frontex staff to exercise executive powers, such as doing border checks and registering people.

Since 2019, when Frontex launched its first operation in a non-EU country, around 500 officers have been deployed in the Balkan region.

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