Today, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos and Nebojša Stefanović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, initialled a status agreement that will allow European Border and Coast Guard teams to be deployed in Serbia.
The Agency will be able to assist Serbia in border management and carry out joint operations with Serbia, in particular in the event of a sudden change in migratory flows.
Supporting and cooperating with non-EU countries is essential for the protection of the EU's external borders. In 2016, the Commission strengthened the European Border and Coast Guard's mandate to allow for deployments in the EU's immediate neighbourhood. Last week, following President Juncker's State of the Union Address 2018, the Commission proposed to further reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard, giving it the right level of ambition and allowing the joint operations and deployments to take place in countries beyond the EU's immediate neighbourhood.
Today's status agreement with Serbia is the third agreement initialled with partner countries from the Western Balkan region, following Albania in February and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in July. Negotiations with Montenegro and with Bosnia and Herzegovina are ongoing.