Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on 15 December in response to the European Commission’s plans for Frontex:
Schengen is one of the greatest achievements of the European Union; every one of us feels its effects directly, and we must not jeopardise it.
At the same time, it is not on for us not to know who’s entering the European Union. We therefore need to secure and control the EU’s external borders.
We can only do that at the European level – by expanding Frontex into an operational European border control authority and equipping it with the necessary resources.
The current European Commission proposals to expand Frontex into a European Border and Coast Guard merit our full support. They take on board the lessons of past failings.
Frontex particularly needs the capacity to act autonomously in situations where member states are not meeting their obligations.
I especially expect support from those who called for greater border control as a prerequisite to discussing fair distribution.