How we work

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, provides support to EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries in managing the EU’s external borders and tackling cross-border crime.

Thanks to the standing corps, Frontex is the home of the European Union’s first uniformed law enforcement service. It is actively engaged in operations across the EU’s external borders and beyond. 

Frontex is a hub of expertise for border control activities, sharing intelligence and knowledge with all EU Member States and neighbouring countries affected by irregular migration and cross-border crime. By leveraging its expertise and resources, Frontex has become an essential partner in the fight against transnational crime and protecting the EU's external borders.

Whenever an EU Member State requests assistance at the external borders, the agency’s highly trained standing corps officers, supported by vessels, aeroplanes and border surveillance equipment, spring into action. These officers work together to carry out essential border control operations and other security-related tasks, as well as search and rescue operations. Their presence is not just limited to Europe’s sea and land borders, but also extend to international airports.

Each operation is based on risk analysis and uniquely tailored to the circumstances identified by Frontex in its risk analysis.

Our border operation span across the European Union, from EU’s eastern borders, through the Western Balkans, down to Greece and Cyprus, as well as Italy and Spain.

The agency is active outside the EU in countries that have signed a Status Agreement with the European Commission. Frontex has operations in Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania. There are also dozens of Frontex’s officers working at EU and international airports.

Key areas of Frontex operations

Key areas of Frontex operations

More than 2000 Frontex officers and staff working outside its headquarters play a crucial role in conducting border checks and registering irregular migrants. This team of experts help national authorities collect fingerprints and determine the nationality of migrants during screening interviews. Some Frontex officers collect important information about the criminal networks involved in people smuggling and trafficking.

With over 42,000 km of coastline, almost 9,000 km of land borders and around 300 international airports, Europe sees around 500 million border crossings a year. The job of managing the borders requires a clear picture of the current situation at all the EU’s external borders. Frontex helps to provide this with a 24/7 monitoring of the borders and collecting and sharing related information with authorities at the national and EU level.

Frontex also closely cooperates with customs authorities. The agency has been involved in expanding cooperation between border-control authorities and customs as well as with national and EU authorities, the Commission and European Ant-Fraud office (OLAF).

Frontex also supports EU Member States in other areas related to border control, such as training and sharing of best practices.

Multipurpose support

At sea, Frontex is also involved in the European cooperation on coast guard functions in close cooperation with the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). 

Together, they are implementing Multipurpose Maritime Operations, expanding the cooperation on coast guard functions including search and rescue, border control, maritime safety and security, fisheries control, environmental protection. The collaboration is already well established within Frontex Joint Operations at sea

We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance your user experience.
More information