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EU border agency could be deployed in non-member states -Asselborn

A Frontex helicopter stops a dinghy with a suspected smuggler off the Greek island of Lesbos

Luxembourg’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that the European Union’s border agency could be deployed in non-member states like Serbia and Macedonia while EU members with no external borders should provide more help to those with such frontiers.

The European Commission wants to be able to deploy personnel from a new European Border and Coastguard Agency without, as currently required, the consent of the state concerned, EU officials have said. It is due to set out the plan on Tuesday to reinforce its Frontex agency with up to six times more staff.

Jean Asselborn told German radio station Deutschlandfunk that it would be possible to put Frontex to action in countries that are not part of the EU as well.

“We have big problems in Serbia and Macedonia, for example, and it hasn’t been possible for Frontex to help there up until now but that will become possible,” he said.

Asselborn added that he thought Frontex would be tasked with making deportations much more efficient too.

He said the EU’s open-border Schengen zone would only survive if the bloc’s external borders were protected.

“It won’t be the Chinese or the Russians sending us the people to do the border controls – it has to be Europeans … and I would even say countries with no external borders should be a lot more strongly involved,” he said.

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