In October 2017, the Council of the European Union authorised the Commission to enter into negotiations with Montenegro for an agreement on the status of the activities of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Montenegro. Negotiations ended on 5 July 2018 and the draft agreement was signed on 5 February 2019. The agreement was signed by both sides on October 7. The Council adopted the proposed decision on the conclusion of the agreement on 26 May 2020. Staff seconded by Frontex can only intervene in cooperation with and in the presence of Montenegrin officials. In accordance with Articles 5 and 7 of the Qua status agreement between the European Union and Montenegro on the conduct of Frontex`s operations, team members may carry weapons, ammunition and equipment in accordance with the legislation of their Home Member State. The use of firearms is not regulated by the status agreement and is therefore limited to self-defence. BRUSSELS – The EU Council today adopted two decisions on the conclusion of cooperation agreements between these countries and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) on border management cooperation. agreement on the status of the activities of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Montenegro. Previously, ECRE had expressed concern about the potentially broad powers granted to Frontex team members under status agreements. These could be used to prevent irregular migration to the EU beyond the EU`s physical borders, without independent supervision. A press release states that, through these agreements, Frontex will assist Montenegro and Serbia in border management, conduct joint operations and send teams to the regions of these EU border countries, subject to the country`s agreement.
On 7 October, the EU signed a border cooperation agreement with Montenegro, which allows the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to carry out joint operations and send teams to the country. This is the second status agreement signed with a non-EU country after an agreement with Albania in October 2018. Other agreements in the Balkan region are about to be concluded. The agreement will enter into force on 1 July in Montenegro, but Serbia`s final procedure has not yet been completed. As soon as this is the case, the agreement will enter into force in Serbia. Frontex also has an ongoing operation on the Albania-Greece border.