The Commission has adopted the multiannual programme under the External Borders Fund i 2007-2013 for Spain for an estimated amount of € 356 million, together with the 2007 annual programme.
Vice President Jacques BARROT i in charge of the Justice, Freedom and Security portfolio, welcomed the adoption of the first multiannual programme for the implementation of the External Borders Fund. "The approval of the multiannual programme for Spain – the biggest beneficiary of the Fund - represents both the solidarity of the European Union to support the Member States who endure, for the benefit of the Community, particular responsibilities in the control of the external borders, and the Spanish commitment to fulfil these responsibilities".
Spain has chosen to implement all five of the Fund's strategic priorities:
A. Further gradual establishment of the common integrated border management system;
B. Development of the national components of a European Surveillance system and/or a permanent European Patrol Network at the southern maritime borders;
C. Support for the issuing of visas and the tackling of illegal immigration by the consular services of the Member States in third countries;
D. Establishment of IT systems required by Community rules on external borders and visas (VIS and SIS);
E. Application of the Community rules on external borders and visas, in particular the Schengen Borders Code and the European Code on Visas.
Among the projects financed in the 2007 annual programme in Spain are:
-Development of the Schengen border crossing control system with a view to connect all border crossing points to the system;
-Extension with a view to a permanent deployment of the Maritime Border Surveillance and Control System (SIVE) in the provinces of Tenerife (Canary Islands) and Valencia, Alicante and the island of Ibiza;
-Acquisition of medium type shipping patrol boats and of fixed-wing aircraft for the Maritime Service of Guardia Civil, for maritime patrol and for fighting irregular immigration;
-Actions linked to the Schengen Information System (SIS), such as the development of a conversion module of SIS-I to SIS-II;
-Training of the border guards, mainly in the application of the Schengen Borders Code, the use of the Practical Handbook for border guards and other Community legal instruments in the field of external borders.
The External Borders Fund is one of the four financial instruments of the General Program on "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" which encourages a fair share of responsibilities between Member States arising from the introduction of integrated management of the external borders and from the implementation of common policies on asylum and immigration. The other three Funds are: the European Fund for the Integration of Third country nationals, the European Return Fund and the European Refugee Fund.
The External Borders Fund establishes a financial solidarity mechanism to support countries which endure, for the benefit of the Community, a lasting and heavy financial burden arising from the implementation of common standards on control and surveillance of external borders and visa policy.
The overall budget of this Fund for 2007-2013 is € 1820 million, distributed as follows:
-€ 1543 million distributed among Member States on the basis of objective criteria expressing the burden of each state for external border control and visa policy for actions under national programmes;
-€ 109 million (6%) directly managed by the Commission and dedicated to Community actions.
-€ 108 million for the Kaliningrad transit scheme implemented by Lithuania
-€ 60 million for specific actions at strategic border points at the external borders on the basis of risk analyses carried out by the FRONTEX Agency.
For more information on the activities of Vice-President Barrot, please see: