MEPs Support Agreement on Skopje-Frontex Operational Cooperation

On Wednesday, the European Parliament gave the green light to Frontex operational support for North Macedonia on border management. “MEPs gave consent, with 511 votes in favour, 104 against and 20 abstentions, to the conclusion of an international agreement between the EU and Republic of North Macedonia on operational activities carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex). This agreement provides a legal framework to deploy teams from Frontex standing corps in order to support the North Macedonian authorities in the border management activities and respond to the migratory and security challenges along Western Balkan route (latest Frontex figures available here). According to the agreement, joint operational activities are launched on the request of the authorities of North Macedonia and are based on an operational plan. The staff have to fully respect fundamental rights, including access to asylum procedures and human dignity, and pay particular attention to vulnerable groups. The Frontex’ fundamental rights officer will monitor the operational activities and may carry on-the-spot visits. Moreover at least one fundamental rights officer will be assigned to each operational activity,” the Parliament said in the press-release.