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Parliament approves strengthening European border agency

Published on September 22, 2021

The Swiss parliament has backed greater commitment to protecting the external borders of Europe’s Schengen zone.

On Wednesday it passed a government decision to increase Switzerland’s contribution to the EU’s European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) from CHF14 million ($15 million) to CHF61 million by 2027.

Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU but does belong to the single-border Schengen Area, will also provide more staff.

The European Union wants to close existing gaps and provide Frontex with sufficient personnel and resources to carry out its tasks. In particular it wants to improve the return of illegal migrants, support voluntary returns and obtain travel documents.

At the same time the expansion of Frontex aims to further improve the fight against cross-border crime, the government said.

In order to provide the necessary personnel, Frontex would have to build up a permanent body of up to 10,000 border guards between 2021 and 2027. Switzerland already participates in Frontex operations with its own experts. By 2027, a maximum of 16 deployments lasting two years and up to 59 deployments lasting four months each are expected.

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