Montenegro agrees border agency deal with EU

The European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and the Minister of the Interior of Montenegro Mevludin Nuhodžić have agreed a deal that will allow European Border and Coast Guard teams to be deployed in Montenegro.

Once the agreement enters into force, the agency will be able to assist Montenegro in border management and carry out joint operations with Montenegro, in particular in the event of a sudden change in migratory flows.

“We are taking another step to strengthen our cooperation with Western Balkan partners when it comes to border management, migration and security,” said Mr Avramopoulos. “I would like to thank Montenegro for its efforts and commitment to initial this agreement and hope for a swift conclusion. The challenges we face are common and the only way to address them is by working together.”

Closer cooperation with and greater support for non-EU countries in the neighbourhood are essential for better protection of the EU’s external borders, management of irregular migration and enhancement of security. In 2016, the commission strengthened the European Border and Coast Guard’s mandate to allow for deployments in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood. Under these rules, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency can carry out deployments and joint operations on the territory of neighbouring non-EU countries, subject to the prior conclusion of a status agreement between the European Union and the country concerned.

The agreement with Montenegro is the fifth agreed with a partner country in the Western Balkans, marking yet another step towards the full operationalisation of the agency.