The creation of a European border control system received a first green light from the European Parliament and Council negotiators on Tuesday night.
The cornerstone of the deal is to upgrade the Frontex border agency, which, together with national border management authorities, will form a European Border and Coast Guard.
It is now up to member states and Parliament as a whole to endorse the agreement.
If approved, the regulation would enable extra border guard teams to be rapidly deployed to EU countries whose external borders are under pressure.
National authorities would still manage their borders day to day, but could seek help from the new agency in a crisis.
“With this regulation we have made the European Border and Coast Guard Agency more effective, more efficient and more accountable. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so we introduced the concept that the security of EU external borders is a responsibility shared among all EU member states,” said Parliament’s lead negotiator on the regulation Artis Pabriks (EPP, LV).
“The European Border and Coast Guard Regulation will ensure that the EU external borders are safer and better managed. This is not a silver bullet that can solve the migration crisis that the EU is facing today or fully restore trust in the Schengen area, but it is very much needed first step,” he added.
If a member state opposes a Council decision to provide assistance, the other EU countries may temporarily reintroduce internal border checks.
The informal agreement will be put to a confirmation vote in the Civil Liberties Committee on June 27, and, if the deal is approved, it will be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole during the July Strasbourg plenary session.