Border cooperation: Frontex agreement with Montenegro enters into force

Today, the Status Agreement on border cooperation between the European Union and Montenegro enters into force. The agreement will allow the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to carry out joint operations and deploy teams of border guards and experts at the borders between Montenegro and the EU. While Montenegro remains ultimately responsible for the protection of its borders, Frontex is able to lend both technical and operational support. Frontex teams will be able to support the Montenegrin border guards in performing border checks at crossing points, for example, and preventing unauthorised entries. All operations and deployments at the common borders will be conducted in full agreement with the Montenegrin authorities. The Status Agreement also provides for the necessary safeguards to ensure the full respect of fundamental rights during these operations. The first Frontex operation in a non-EU country was launched in May 2019 in Albania. Similar agreements were initialled with North Macedonia (July 2018) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (January 2019), and signed with Serbia(November 2019) and await finalisation. This strengthened cooperation will contribute to better management of irregular migration and enhanced security at the EU’s external borders in the common interest of both the EU and Montenegro.