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External Borders Fund (2007-2013)

03 February 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 03 February 2010

As part of the general programme “Solidarity and management of migration flows”, Decision No 574/2007/EC establishes the External Borders Fund (EBF) for the period 2007-13 with resources totalling €1820 million.



Decision No 574/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 establishing the External Borders Fund for the period 2007 to 2013 as part of the General programme “Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows”.


This decision defines the objectives of the External Borders Fund (EBF) and the rules for its management, as well as the available financial resources and the criteria for their allocation.

Objectives of the EBF

The fund has four objectives:

* efficient administrative organisation, focusing particularly on systems for exchanging information, collecting statistics and improving coordination between border crossing points, as well as checks, surveillance tasks and registration mechanisms at external borders;

* efficient management of flows of persons at external borders and, in particular, effective consultation of the European information systems (SIS and VIS), as well as enhanced collaboration in respect of forged or false travel documents;

* uniform implementation of European Union (EU) legislation, for example through promotion of the use of the practical handbook for border guards and of state-of-the-art technology for the surveillance of external borders;

* enhancing the activity of consular services, including reinforcement of the operational capacity of the network of immigration liaison officers and the development of common consular offices.

Eligible actions

The EBF can finance national actions as well as transnational actions and actions that are of interest to the Community as a whole (“Community actions”). National actions are implemented by Member States within the framework of multiannual programming consistent with the Community’s strategic guidelines for the intervention of the fund (shared management). The budget allocated for Community actions is implemented by the Commission (direct management).

The EBF can support national actions relating to:

* surveillance infrastructures at external borders and at border crossing points;

* surveillance equipment;

* means of transport;

* investments in state-of-the-art technology;

* personnel training and exchanges;

* data-exchange equipment and systems;

* studies and pilot projects relating to the implementation of good practices.

The EBF can also compensate Member States for certain costs relating to the issuing of special transit documents.

The EBF can support transnational and Community actions:

* promoting the progressive inclusion of customs, veterinary and phyto-sanitary activities in integrated border management;

* providing support services in emergency situations;

* assisting the uniform application of Community legislation on external borders;

* assisting the development of statistical tools;

* assisting the exchange of information and the entrenchment of good practices;

* assisting the setting up of studies and pilot projects on new forms of cooperation, in particular with regard to common consular offices.

Principles governing the EBF’s actions

In line with the priorities and objectives laid down by the EU, the fund will provide grants to support actions of a non-profit nature already co-financed by public or private sources.

Support from the EBF must not exceed 50% of the total cost of national actions. Exceptionally, this may be increased to 75% for projects addressing specific priorities identified in the strategic guidelines. The Community contribution is increased to 75% in Member States covered by the Cohesion Fund.

The fund's annual resources are allocated to Member States on the basis of the type of border (30% being earmarked for external land borders, 35% for external sea borders, 20% for airports and 15% for consular offices) and according to weighting factors determined by Frontex in its annual risk analysis report describing the difficulties encountered by Member States in carrying out border surveillance.

The Commission will adopt strategic guidelines for the period 2007-13, defining Community priorities for each of the objectives of the fund.

The Commission will approve Member States' multiannual programmes that set out, on the basis of the Commission’s strategic guidelines, a strategy for and a description of the actions designed to achieve their objectives, and additional indications regarding project financing. It will also adopt annual financing decisions approving each annual programme implementing the multiannual programme.

Committee and review

The Commission is assisted by the Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows Committee. This decision must be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council by 30 June 2013.


This decision furthers the implementation of a common European policy in the field of external border management instituted by the action plan of 14 June 2002, which was based on the Commission communication of 7 May 2002. With resources totalling €1820 million for the period 2007-13, the EBF is part of the general programme “Solidarity and management of migration flows”, established by the communication of 6 April 2005.



Decision (EC) No 574/2007
Entry into force: 6.6.2007
Official Journal: OJ L 144 of 6.6.2007


Commission Decision 2008/456/EC of 5 March 2008 laying down rules for the implementation of Decision No 574/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the External Borders Fund for the period 2007 to 2013 as part of the General programme “Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows” as regards Member States’ management and control systems, the rules for administrative and financial management and the eligibility of expenditure on projects co-financed by the Fund [Official Journal L 167 of 27.6.2008].

To ensure the efficient implementation of the External Borders Fund, this decision provides common rules for Member States on:

* designated authorities;

* management and control systems;

* information concerning the use of the fund that must be passed on to the Commission;

* procedures for reporting irregularities to the Commission;

* information and publicity for beneficiaries and the general public;

* protection of personal data;

* electronic exchange of documents with the Commission.

Commission Decision 2007/599/EC of 27 August 2007 implementing Decision 574/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the adoption of strategic guidelines for 2007 to 2013 [Official Journal L 233 of 5.9.2007].

This decision provides the strategic guidelines setting out the support scheme of the External Borders Fund. It defines the following priorities that Member States must address in order to receive increased financing (up to 75%) from the fund:

* the establishment of the common integrated border management system;

* the development and implementation of a European Surveillance System and Patrol Network;

* the fight against illegal immigration through enhanced consular activity of Member States in third countries;

* the establishment of IT systems to implement EU legal external border and visa instruments;

* the efficient application of the EU legal instruments, namely the Schengen Borders Code and the European Code on Visas.

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