Standing corps

For the first time in history, the European Union has its own uniformed service – the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps. Trained by the best and equipped with the latest that technology has to offer, Frontex border and coast guards are ready for challenges at the borders, helping to ensure the proper functioning of Europe’s Schengen Area.

This includes support in migration management and return activities, helping national authorities in making the crossing of the border safe and smooth for all travelers, as well as fighting cross-border crime.

Frontex border guards work under the command of the national authorities of the country they are deployed in. They can work at the borders of EU Member States and currently support operations in countries such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Bulgaria. They are present at border crossing points and airports, as well as the agency’s Warsaw headquarters. They also work in countries outside the EU that have signed a Status Agreement with the European Commission - Albania, Montenegro and Serbia.

The formation of the standing corps is a major achievement of European integration. It also brings about a real transformation of Frontex – soon, there will be more Frontex staff working in the field that in the headquarters, making a truly operational arm of the EU.

Main tasks

The European Border and Coast Guard standing corps helps make the Schengen Area, the largest free travel area in the world, stronger and more resilient.

On a permanent basis, the standing corps assists with border checks and provides support to migration management, such as nationality screening, registration and fingerprinting. Its officers help track down illegal drugs, guns and other illegal activities at the borders. Many members of the standing corps support the returns of people who are illegally staying in Europe. The officers have executive powers to perform border control and may carry a firearm.


The standing corps is composed of four categories of officers. They include Frontex personnel and officers who are sent from the Member States to the agency on long- or short-term missions, as well as a reserve that can be activated in times of crisis.

In total, by 2027 the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps will comprise 10 000 people, among them 3000 category 1 officers – Frontex staff. The other 7000 thousand officers will be seconded from EU Member States.

Category 1: Border guards directly employed by Frontex as staff members and regularly deployed to border guarding missions according to their profile
Category 2: Long-term staff seconded from Member States
Category 3: Short-term staff seconded from Member States
Category 4: Reserve of EU Member States border guards that are available to Frontex for rapid border management crisis.

Profiles and career development

Each of the standing corps officers receives basic training in order to prepare for deployment in operational areas. It ensures that the officers have the necessary skills to work together in any particular operational area, fully complying with the applicable EU law and ethical standards.

After the basic training, standing corps officers undergo various types of specialised training throughout their career.

The officers may specialise in tasks such as detecting fraudulent documents, assisting in return operations or helping to spot stolen cars. Other officers may work in the area of gathering information or collecting data on criminal networks.

Throughout their career, standing corps officers will have the possibility to acquire new profiles in line with their experience, but also to perform new tasks giving them an opportunity to have a full experience of integrated border management.

Legal basis

The standing corps was established by Regulation (EU) 2019/1896  of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard.