Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is launching an operation in Montenegro, its second outside the European Union.
At the start, Frontex will deploy several officers to support Montenegro’s border guards at the border with Croatia and in the coming weeks will expand its presence to border control activities at sea, including support in search and rescue.
The operation marks a new step in the growing border cooperation between Frontex and the Western Balkan countries. Last year, Frontex launched its first operation in the region in Albania.
“Montenegro and other countries in the Western Balkans are essential partners for the European Union when it comes to protecting our borders and stamping out cross-border crime. This is why today we are launching our second operation in the region,” said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.
The Frontex operation in Montenegro follows the completion of the Status Agreement on border cooperation between the European Union and Montenegro that came into force this month.
The main aim of the operation is to tackle cross-border crime, including migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings, document fraud, stolen vehicles and boats, smuggling of drugs and weapons and terrorism.
As a general rule, the officers deployed by Frontex will perform all those activities in cooperation with and in the presence of Montenegrin officers.