The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex (from French: Frontières extérieures for "external borders"), is an agency of the European Union headquartered in Warsaw, Poland, tasked with border control of the European Schengen Area, in coordination with the border and coast guards of Schengen Area member states.
The Warsaw Spire, housing Frontex's headquarters
|Formed||3 October 2005 (original)|
6 October 2016 (as European Border and Coast Guard Agency)
10,000 (2024/2027, proposed)
|Annual budget||€ 420.6 million (2020)|
Frontex was established in 2004 as the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders and is primarily responsible for coordinating border control efforts. In response to the European migrant crisis of 2015–2016, the European Commission proposed on 15 December 2015 to extend Frontex's mandate and to transform it into a fully-fledged European Border and Coast Guard Agency. On 18 December 2015, the European Council roundly supported the proposal, and after a vote by the European Parliament, the European Border and Coast Guard was officially launched on 6 October 2016 at the Bulgarian external border with Turkey.
To enable the agency to carry out its tasks, its budget has gradually increased from the €143 million for 2015 to €543 million planned for 2021 and the staff of the agency is planned to reach 10 000 by 2027.
According to a 2021 Guardian investigation, the organization is responsible for pushback of almost 40,000 asylum seekers, resulting in 2,000 deaths, in violation of EU and international law. Frontex denies taking part in pushbacks; the claims are currently under investigation by EU anti-fraud agency OLAF.