Commission welcomes the signature of the working arrangement between Frontex and the United Kingdom

The Commission welcomes the signature of the working arrangement between Frontex and the United Kingdom, that takes place today in London. The working arrangement will be signed by the Frontex Executive Director Hans Leijtens and his counterpart, the Director General of the Border Force, Phil Douglas, and witnessed by the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and Home Secretary James Cleverly. The conclusion of this working arrangement follows the announcement by President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Sunak on 16 May 2023 in Reykjavik, in the margins of the Council of Europe Summit.

Frontex is the EU's Border and Coast Guard Agency tasked with supporting Member States in managing and securing the EU's external borders. This support is further reinforced through cooperation with other Agencies and partner countries.

This working arrangement provides a long-term framework for close cooperation between Frontex and the UK authorities to tackle illegal migration and cross-border crime, in full compliance with the EU and UK's international human rights obligations.

It establishes a framework for mutually beneficial cooperation and delivers 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 Agency's activities. The working arrangement also provides for the opportunity to exchange liaison officers, further boosting the effectiveness of this 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.