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External Borders Fund

In the interest of the entire Schengen Area EU countries must invest in the protection of the EU's external borders. For some countries, notably those situated at the external frontiers of the Union, these investments can be very large due to significant migratory pressure at their borders. The External Borders Fund (EBF) provides financial support to assist EU States in responding to such situations.

Establishing solidarity between Schengen countries

The EBF aims to establish financial solidarity between Schengen countries by supporting those countries for which the implementation of the common standards for control of the EU’s external borders represents a heavy burden. The Fund also supports actions for managing efficient controls (border checks as well as surveillance) and the flow of persons at the external borders; improving the management of activities carried out by consular authorities; building a common EU visa policy in order to facilitate legitimate travel, while tackling irregular border crossings and visa fraud.

Overall, EUR 1 820 million is allocated for these objectives over the period 2007–13. The Fund has led to significant improvements, such as to the shortening of the duration of passenger checks, modernisation of surveillance systems and development of IT systems for external border controls.

Concrete actions

The eligible measures under the EBF include border crossing infrastructures and related buildings, infrastructures, buildings and systems required for surveillance between border crossing points and protection against illegal crossing of the external border, operating equipment (including terminals VIS, SIS), means of transport for the control of external borders, equipment for real time exchange of information between relevant authorities, ICT systems (including VIS, SIS), training and secondment programmes and pilot projects and studies.

General implementation mechanisms of the EBF

National Programmes: the Fund is mainly implemented by EU countries through shared management. Each EU State implements the Fund through national annual programmes on the basis of multiannual programming.

Community Actions: at the Commission's initiative, up to 6% of the EBF's available resources may be used to finance transnational actions or actions of interest to the EU as a whole. In addition, a maximum of EUR 10 million a year may be used for Specific Actions, which address weaknesses at strategic points at the external borders.

Additional tools


Specific actions

Actions that address weaknesses at strategic border points and are financed by the EU through the External ...


Schengen State

An EU State or associated non-EU country participating in the Schengen Area.


Schengen Area

As of December 2011, the Schengen Area consists of the following EU States: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark,...


Schengen Agreement & Convention

With the signing on 14 June 1985 of the Schengen Agreement, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and ...


Irregular entry

Crossing borders without complying with the necessary requirements for legal entry into the receiving State....


External EU border

An EU States’ land borders, including river and lake borders, sea borders and their airports, river ports, sea ports ...


External Borders Fund

A financial instrument for the period 2007 to 2013, which supports EU States in the management of external borders...


European Asylum Support Office (EASO)

An Agency established to help improve the implementation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), to ...


EU agency

There are two broad types of agency, each with different characteristics and raising different issues. "Regulatory" or ...


Community actions

Transnational actions of interest to the EU as a whole. These are financed by the EU through the Funds in the ...


Border crossing

The physical act of crossing a border either at a border crossing point or another point along the border.


Border control

The activity carried out at a border, in accordance with and for the purposes of Regulation 562/2006, exclusively in ...


Border checks

Checks carried out at border crossing points to ensure that persons, including their means of transport and the objects in their possession, may be authorised to enter the territory of the Schengen States or authorised to leave it.



A line separating land territory or maritime zones of two States or subparts of States. It can also refer to a region ...


Basic act

Act of secondary law (regulation, directive or decision) laying down the objectives and conditions for budget ...



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