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Reg. No. 5865 Consolidated Annual Activity Report 2018 12 June 2019
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TABLE OF CONTENTS GLOSSARY ............................................................................................................ 4 INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................ 6 1. DEVELOPMENTS                                                                                                       8 1.1. THE SITUATION AT THE EXTERNAL BORDERS IN 2018 ........................................................... 8 1.2. DEVELOPMENTS AT POLICY LEVEL .............................................................................. 10 1.3. NEW MANDATE OF THE EUROPEAN BORDER AND COAST GUARD AGENCY ....................................... 13 2. STRATEGIC ACTION AREAS                                                                                            14 2.1. EUROPEAN INTEGRATED BORDER MANAGEMENT ............................................................... 14 2.2. EUROPEAN COOPERATION ON COAST GUARD FUNCTIONS ...................................................... 18 2.3. OPERATIONAL RESPONSE ..................................................................................... 24 2.4. RETURN ACTIVITIES ........................................................................................... 27 2.5. ANALYSIS ..................................................................................................... 29 2.5.1.     RISK ANALYSIS........................................................................................... 29 2.5.2.     VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT ............................................................................ 31 2.6. MANAGEMENT OF POOLED RESOURCES ........................................................................ 32 2.7. TRAINING ..................................................................................................... 36 2.8. RESEARCH AND INNOVATION .................................................................................. 42 2.9. SITUATION MONITORING ...................................................................................... 45 2.10. INTERNATIONAL AND EUROPEAN COOPERATION ............................................................... 46 2.11. MEDIA AND PUBLIC RELATIONS ............................................................................... 50 2.12. FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ....................................................................................... 51 2.13. DATA PROTECTION ........................................................................................... 55 2.14. GOVERNANCE ................................................................................................. 56 3. KEY RESULTS AND PROGRESS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF OBJECTIVES OF FRONTEX                                         62 3.1. KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS ................................................................................ 62 3.2. KEY CONCLUSIONS ON MANAGEMENT AND INTERNAL CONTROL .................................................. 68 4. BUDGETARY AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT                                                                                69 4.1. IMPLEMENTATION OF APPROPRIATIONS ......................................................................... 69 4.2. INFORMATION ON TRANSFERS AND AMENDING BUDGETS ......................................................... 71 4.3. IMPLEMENTATION OF APPROPRIATIONS FROM 2017 CARRIED FORWARD TO 2018 .............................. 72 4.4. PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES ................................................................................... 72 4.5. LATE PAYMENTS — INTEREST PAID TO SUPPLIERS ............................................................... 73 4.5. NEGOTIATED PROCEDURES – POINT 1 – ANNEX I TO FINANCIAL REGULATION ................................... 73 4.6. AD HOC GRANTS AND DELEGATION AGREEMENTS ................................................................ 74 4.7. HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT .............................................................................. 74 4.8. ASSESSMENT BY MANAGEMENT .................................................................................. 79 5. MANAGEMENT AND INTERNAL CONTROL                                                                                   81 5.1. CONTROL RESULTS ............................................................................................. 82 5.2. AUDIT OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................. 88 5.3. ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEM ...................................... 92 5.4. CONCLUSIONS AS REGARDS ASSURANCE ......................................................................... 93 6. DECLARATION OF ASSURANCE                                                                                          94 2
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ANNEX 1 - ANNUAL REPORT ON PUBLIC ACCESS TO DOCUMENTS .................................................... 95 ANNEX 2 - ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE ........................................................................... 97 ANNEX 3 - HUMAN RESOURCES – ESTABLISHMENT PLAN ............................................................. 98 ANNEX 4 - RESOURCES PER ACTIVITIES – WORK PROGRAMME 2018 ............................................... 101 ANNEX 5 – DRAFT ANNUAL ACCOUNTS AND FINANCIAL REPORTS .................................................. 179 3
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Glossary BN           Annual Bilateral Negotiations ABC          Automated Border Control AFIC         Africa–Frontex Intelligence Community BCP          Border Crossing Point CELBET       Customs Eastern and South-Eastern Land Border Expert CCC          Common Core Curriculum CCWP         Customs Cooperation Working Party CSDP         Common Security and Defence Policy CIRAM        Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model CRO          Collecting Return Operation DG           Directorate-General EASO         European Asylum Support Office EC           European Commission ECRet        European Centre for Returns EBCG         European Border and Coast Guard EBCG Day     European Border and Coast Guard Day EFCA         European Fisheries Control Agency EFS          Eurosur Fusion Services EMPACT       European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats EMSA         European Maritime Safety Agency ETIAS        European travel information and authorisation system EUBAM        European Union Border Assistance Mission Eunavfor MED European Union Naval Force Mediterranean Europol      European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation Eurosur      European Surveillance System FER          Frontex’ Evaluation Report FISRoP       Frontex’ Internal Structure and Rules of Procedure FAR          Frontex Application for Return FLO          Frontex Liaison Officer FRE          Forced-Return Escort FRM          Forced-Return Monitors FRO          Fundamental Rights Officer Frontex      European Border and Coast Guard Agency HR           Human Resources IAS          Internal Audit Service ICC          International Coordination Centre ICF          Internal Control Framework ICS          Internal Control Standard ICT          Information and Communication Technology IPA          Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance IT           Information Technology JAD          Joint-Action Day JHA          Justice and Home Affairs JO           Joint Operation 4
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JORA  Joint Operation Reporting Application JRO   Joint Return Operation LPU   Legal and Procurement Unit MAS   Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance OSINT Open Source Intelligence RAU   Risk Analysis Unit REX   Rapid Intervention Exercise RPAS  Remotely-Piloted Aircraft System SAC   Schengen associated country TCN   Third Country National THB   Trafficking in Human Beings TRU   Training Unit 5
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Introduction Article 68(3)(d) of the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation( 1) stipulates that each year the Executive Director shall prepare the annual activity report on the agency’s activities and submit it to the Management Board. Article 62(2)(i) of the European Border and Coast Guard regulation states that the Management Board shall adopt an annual activity report of the agency for the previous year and forward it, by 1 July at the latest, to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Court of Auditors. To guide the readers and recipients of the information the report has been divided into three main parts, the first two of which form the Annual activity report 2018. I. The first part (1. Developments; and 2. Strategic action areas) of the annual activity report contains comprehensive and easily understandable information regarding Frontex’s work. It outlines:     the situation at the external borders in the course of 2018,     developments at policy and agency level,     the new and enhanced mandate of the agency; and     the main activities in each of the strategic action area during 2018. It also reports on:     cooperation with third countries,     the way in which fundamental rights underpin Frontex’s coordinated activities,     public access to documents and the management of sensitive operational information. As stated in Article 26 and Article 28(8) of the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation, the main activities in each of the strategic action areas also provide a comparative analysis of the results of evaluations of core operational activities with a view to enhancing the quality, coherence and effectiveness of future activities. As stated in Article 47 of the Frontex financial regulation (2), the authorising officer shall report to the Management Board on the performance of his duties in the form of an annual activity report and submit it for assessment. No later than 1 July each year the report, together with its assessment, shall be sent by the Management Board to the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and the European Court of Auditors. II. The second part (3. Key results and progress towards the achievement of general and specific objectives; 4. Budgetary and financial management; and 5. Management and internal control) represents a major instrument for accountability management and constitutes the basis on which the Executive Director as the authorising officer takes his responsibility for:     the management of human and financial resources with reference to the general and specific objectives set out in the work programme;     the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal control systems, including an overall assessment of the costs and benefits of controls;     the accounts and the report on budgetary and financial management;     the indication of the results of the operations with reference to the set objectives and the associated risks. III.    The third part contains additional detailed information on the previous parts of the report. (1)      Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 of 14 September 2016 on the European Border and Coast Guard (OJ L 251, 16.9.2016, p. 1). (2)      Management Board Decision No 01/2014 of 8 January 2014. 6
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Mission Statement The European Border and Coast Guard Regulation entered into force on 6 October 2016. The extended and enhanced mandate drove the need to revise the mission, vision and values applied by the agency. The process of revaluating the mission statement took until the end of 2017. When adopting the Programming document 2018-2020 the Management Board also adopted the revised mission, vision and values of the Agency. Mission Together with the Member States, we ensure safe and well-functioning external borders providing security. Vision The European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. Values •        we are professional we have the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to fulfil our mission efficiently with high ethical standards and we continuously strive for excellence to improve our performance; •        we are respectful we recognize people, institutions and their roles and demonstrate respect by treating these as valuable and important; •        we seek cooperation together with the Member States’ relevant national authorities and with participation of other stakeholders we manage the EU external borders together and seek cooperation with non-EU countries; together, we cooperate and collaborate across the organisation as well as with external stakeholders in order to accomplish common goals and objectives; •        we are accountable we are trusted with a shared responsibility to implement European integrated border management; we are trustworthy in fulfilling our responsibilities in our work, its timeliness and quality; •        we care as European public agents we serve the interests of citizens because we care about people and believe in European values; 7
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1. Developments 1.1. The situation at the external borders in 2018 Member States reported 150,114 illegal border-crossings in 2018, representing a 27% decrease comparing with 2017. The most decisive development for the overall level of migratory pressure in 2018 in fact dates back to July 2017, when the sudden reversal in the number of irregular migrants detected in the Central Mediterranean took place. This reversal continues to be the most significant development at the EU’s external borders since the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement. The decreasing trend in migrant arrivals on the Central Mediterranean route, which lasted throughout 2018, was the primary reason for the decrease in the number of illegal border-crossings as compared to 2017. On this route, the other third countries of departure − Tunisia, Algeria and Turkey − equally had fewer successful departures. Egypt in 2018 did not see any departures of migrants to Europe on the sea route. With the number of illegal border-crossings plummeting on the Central Mediterranean route, the spotlight moved onto the Western Mediterranean route, where in 2018 mostly Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants crossed the Strait of Gibraltar or the Alboran Sea in record numbers, making the Western Mediterranean route the most frequently used route into Europe in 2018. Morocco was also the country of departure for a slightly over than half of the migrants that targeted the Canary Islands on the Western African route. Towards the end of the year, an increase in prevention activities by the Moroccan authorities was noticed, a development due essentially to the improved and reinforced cooperation with Moroccan authorities. On the Eastern Mediterranean route, the most significant development of 2018 was arguably the implementation of a relocation and return programme in Turkey for irregular Syrian migrants, which shifted the nationality makeup on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea route in the second half of the year. The Western Balkan route in 2018 saw shifts between the Greek-Albanian corridor and the Serbian-centred corridor. Throughout the year, most of the migratory pressure on the route materialised at the Bosnian and Herzegovinian-Croatian border, and also, to a lesser extent, on Serbia’s border with Hungary, Croatia and Romania. In 2018, at the Eastern land border, another third country, Russia by introducing a temporary change in its visa policy created an opportunity to reach the EU’s external borders. For the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Russia allowed travellers a visa-free entry to the Russian Federation for those in possession of match tickets. This enabled migrants to reach the EU’s external borders via Russia, and also via Belarus and Ukraine, with migrants attempting to enter the EU illegally. This contributed to an increase in detections as compared with 2017, however, still remaining at much lower levels than on other routes. Corresponding with the changes in the flows of the main migration routes, the migrant population in 2018 changed its nationality makeup. Syrians remained the most common nationality as a result of Turkish relocation and return programme taking effect during the second half of the year. Moroccans were the second most common nationality, before Afghans and Iraqis. Turkish nationals, as mentioned above, increased in number and were the fifth-most common nationality in 2018. In 2018, Member States reported an increase in the detection of clandestine entries. Nevertheless, the number of detected attempts of clandestine entry continued to be arguably below the level to be expected in times of tightened border surveillance at the green and blue borders. Secondary movements continued on a large scale during 2018. Member States without external land and sea borders reported thousands of inland detections of illegal stay. These could, however, be overstays after having entered via air borders. Since Eurodac registered high numbers in both land and sea clandestine crossings in 2018, this can be seen as evidence for increased scale of secondary movement. In this context, the increase in the inland detection of people smugglers (+13 %) is also an indication of the involvement of organised crime networks in smuggling migrants to their countries of destination. Moreover, a significant increase in document fraud detections on secondary movements was recorded in 2018. In fact, the number of document fraud detections on secondary movements inside the EU/Schengen area in 2018 reached its highest level since 2013. The year 2018 once again signified a year of heavy workload for border guards in all Member States, who were faced with another increase in entry and exit checks to be performed at border crossing points with a further rise in passenger flows and the 2017 expansion of systematic checks on those passengers enjoying the right of free movement under EU law. This meant at times delays for passengers at certain border-crossing points. The second line, was as well under pressure in many Member States due to an increase in refusals of entry along the external borders, but also by the aforementioned increase in document fraud detections on secondary movements. In particular, at the borders with Ukraine, the increase in issued refusals of entry to Ukrainians was significant. The categories of refusals reported imply that visa liberalisation wrongly suggests to travellers that they no longer need to justify the purpose and conditions of stay and to present 8
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sufficient means of subsistence on request. As regards exit checks, illegal stay detections on exit at air, land and sea borders increased slightly. This as well implied an increase in workload in particular for the second line of border checks. The number of effective returns in 2018 once again fell short of the decisions issued by Member States to return migrants: Around 148,000 migrants who were not granted asylum or subsidiary protection were returned to their countries of origin, this figure represents slightly more than half the total number of return decisions issued. In particular, no measurable progress was made as regards returns to West Africa − while the number of return decisions issued increased by roughly 80% compared with 2017, effective returns remained unchanged, reflecting deficits in cooperation and administrative capacity in countries of origin. In 2018, there was an increase in all indicators of irregular migration at air borders. The airports reporting to Frontex show some 16,000 asylum claims3, which represents an increase of 12% in relation to 2017, of which over 2,800 asylum applications were recorded on intra EU/Schengen flights. Approximately 3,000 were related to migrants abusing the transit visa waiver and claiming asylum on arrival, mainly at Madrid airport. The unilateral re-imposition of specific transit visa regimes on some nationalities by some MS/SAC has led to displacement of the abuse to other EU airports, where the transit visa is not required. 3 An application for political asylum does not in itself represent an irregular process. However, in order for a migrant to lodge an application for asylum at a MS/SAC airport they may in some instances have had to obtain forged, counterfeit or otherwise improperly obtained documentation from a criminal network, or to have obtained a Schengen visa by making a false declaration as to their intentions, or to have abused the direct airside visa transit waiver on arrival at an MS/SAC airports. Therefore asylum is one of the indicators that help assessing a number of activities concerning the abuse of legal travel or migratory processes for irregular migration at air borders. 9
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1.2. Developments at policy level 2018 was marked by a high level of legislative and policy developments in the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) domain. As 2019 is the final year of the 5-year mandates of both the European Commission and European Parliament, 2018 represented the final opportunity for the European Commission to propose such legislation within this domain that could be agreed on during this legislative timeline. The most important initiative in relation to the agency was the proposal for a new European Border and Coast Guard Regulation. The new text was tabled on 12 September and followed on from the June 2018 European Council meeting where the EU leaders confirmed the need for a more effective control of the external borders of the EU and agreed that the role of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency should be further strengthened through increased resources and an enhanced mandate. The European Commission proposal aimed at providing the European Border and Coast Guard Agency with the resources and the mandate to fully respond to a level of ambition needed to effectively protect the EU's external borders and ensure EU solidarity on migration and border management. The central element of the proposal is to establish a new standing corps of 10,000 operational EU staff with executive powers and their own equipment to ensure that the EU has the necessary capabilities in place to intervene wherever and whenever needed − along the EU's external borders as well as in non-EU countries. The staff of the standing corps would be able to carry out border control and return tasks in the same way as the border guards and return specialists of the Member States. Furthermore, the agency’s mandate will increased in order to enhance its support to the Member States in returning third country nationals who no longer have the right to remain on the EU territory. Notwithstanding this increased support, the final decision regarding return will nevertheless remain within the competence of Member States. The new European Border and Coast Guard proposal should also be viewed in conjunction with the proposal for the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2021−2027. The new MFF foresees a total of EUR 9.44 billion in connection with the planned new EBCG Regulation (mainly to cover the cost of the 10,000-strong standing corps and for the agency to acquire its own technical equipment for operational deployments). The MFF is the EU instrument which sets the limits for the annual general budgets of the EU. It determines how much in total and by activity heading the EU may spend/commit each year. The Commission proposed an overall EU budget of EUR 1.135 trillion in commitments (in 2018 prices) over seven years —1.11% of the EU27’s gross national income (GNI). The MFF is made up of 7 Headings, including ‘Security and Defence’, ‘Migration and Border Management’ and ‘Neighbourhood and the World’. Additionally, the European Commission has proposed sectoral legislative texts, including:  An Integrated Border Management Fund (IBMF, totalling EUR 9.3bn) which is made up of two separate instruments: ‘Border Management and Visa (BMVI)’ and ‘Customs Control Equipment (CCE)’ that will support the implementation of European IBM and the common visa policy, and contribute to adequate and equivalent customs controls through the purchase, maintenance and upgrade of customs control equipment;  An Asylum and Migration Fund (AMF, EUR 10.4bn) providing Member States with funding for the development of the common European asylum system, integration, and countering irregular migration including returns;  An Internal Security Fund (ISF, EUR 2.5bn) providing funding in the area of security, combatting serious and organised crime, terrorism and other security-related threats. On 12 September, the European Commission also came forward with a recast of the Directive on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (‘Returns Directive’). Making returns more effective and stepping up the return rate throughout the European Union has been a priority for the European Commission, as stated in the European Agenda on Migration (2015), the EU Action Plan on Returns (2015), and in the Renewed Action Plan on Returns (2017). The aim of the proposed recast directive is to clarify and further harmonise the existing rules on returns to maximise their effectiveness and ensure more consistent application across Member States, whilst safeguarding fundamental rights and the principle of non-refoulement. The changes aim to address key challenges in return procedures and reduce obstacles that Member States encounter when carrying out returns. The text notably aims to:  accelerate and simplify border procedures;  have clearer and faster procedures for issuing return decisions;  streamline appeal procedures;  introduce clearer rules on detention;  introduce an obligation for Member States to establish national systems for return management that should communicate with a central system established by Frontex. The European Commission also proposed an amendment to the Council Regulation (EC) 377/2004 on the creation of an immigration liaison officers (ILO) network. The proposed new Regulation aims to ensure better coordination and use of European assets deployed in Third Countries (around 500 ILOs are currently deployed in 105 Third Countries) to enable them to more effectively respond to EU priorities (combatting irregular migration and related cross-border criminality such as document fraud, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings (THB); facilitating returns; contributing to Integrated Border Management; and supporting the management of legal migration, including international protection 10
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