Frontex coordinates cooperation between European border authorities

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, coordinates joint operations between European border authorities. EU Member States, countries in the Schengen area and countries outside the EU participate in Frontex operations. Finland has been participating in the development of Frontex activities for years.

The standing corps, led by Frontex, consists of border and coast guards from different countries who work under the command of the national authorities of the country they are deployed in. The standing corps supports the EU Member States in managing the Union’s external borders and the return of third-country nationals. The strength of the corps will gradually increase to 10,000 people. 

Finland active in Frontex operations

Finland participates in Frontex operations in accordance with the EU Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard. Every year, Finland sends dozens of border guards for short-term deployments of up to four months across Europe to support other countries in their border control. In addition, Finnish border guards are sent to the standing corps of Frontex for long-term secondments that last two years.

Finnish standing corps members participate in operations in airports of various countries in order to combat human smuggling and irregular entry. You may run into a Finnish border management professional at the airport of Vienna or Barcelona, for example.

Finland also sends border guards to the external, land border crossings of European countries. Finland participates in operations at border crossings in nearby areas such as Norway's Storskog or Estonia's Narva, as well as outside the EU in places such as Serbia or North Macedonia.

Surveillance of land borders is reinforced with border patrols. Accompanied by their dogs, Finnish border management professionals participate in joint operations in countries such as Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and the Baltic States.

Finland also participates in return operations coordinated by Frontex and in supporting voluntary return.

Finland receives support from other countries

Frontex operations have been ongoing at Helsinki Airport, at northern airports during the busy season and at land border crossing points on the eastern border at priority times. At these locations, it is possible to meet foreign public officials working in Finland on the basis of Frontex funding, under the leadership of the Finnish Border Guard. In addition to operations at border crossing points, Finland hosts border patrols that feature the diverse tasks and terrain of Finland’s eastern land border. 

The Border Guard is also continuously developing its capacity to receive border management assistance from Frontex. European assistance plays an important role, especially if the situation at the external border becomes more difficult.

Maritime border patrols and maritime search and rescue

A large number of unauthorised border crossings have taken place at sea borders in recent years. For this reason, the Finnish Border Guard has provided support in the Mediterranean to Italy and Greece in particular. Finnish border management experts participate in interviews of irregular border crossers at ports and reception centres.

Most resources invested relate to equipment used in surveillance of maritime borders. Finland has provided support to Mediterranean countries by sending assistance such as patrol boats and a surveillance aircraft. Smaller vessels also participate in border control on rivers.

At sea, in addition to border surveillance, tasks include rescuing persons in distress and environmental monitoring. This type of operation, based on multiple tasks, saves money and achieves better results.

Rapid reaction pool on stand-by

Finland has 30 border guards and various items of technical equipment on stand-by in case the border security situation deteriorates and a Member State needs urgent help. This rapid reaction pool enables the sending of effective help to Member States facing pressure on their borders.

Frontex supports Member States in various ways

Frontex also supports Member States by offering training, situation awareness and help with research and development. Additional costs incurred by the Finnish authorities due to participation in Frontex operations are covered from the European Union budget.


Matti Pitkäniitty, Head of International Affairs Unit, tel. +358 295 421 131, [email protected]