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Frontex

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) contracts and (b) other obligations her Department has with Frontex; whether her Department has plans to enter into any further such obligations; and if she will make a statement. (254443)

The Home Office does not have any contract with the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex). The UK is excluded from the Frontex Regulation on Schengen building grounds. Our exclusion means that in practice we do not have the same level of influence as the other member states. We play an active role at the Frontex Management Board but we do not have a vote. Our officers participate in Frontex joint operations and other activities with the agreement of the management board on a case-by-case basis in an observational/advisory role.

We have demonstrated our commitment to Frontex by making an annual financial contribution to Frontex, seconding staff to Frontex's headquarters, participating in a variety of Frontex activities and operations as well as offering Frontex access to a range of technical equipment. We see the improved coordination of border management of Schengen States as having a direct impact to the United Kingdom, and play as full a part as possible in operations, and should commit resources to them for this purpose.