The Commission has adopted the multiannual programme under the External Borders Fund i 2007-2013 for Latvia for an estimated amount of € 16 million, together with the first two annual programmes (2007 and 2008).
Vice President Jacques BARROT i in charge of the Justice, Freedom and Security portfolio, welcomed the adoption of the multiannual programme of Latvia for the implementation of the External Borders Fund. "With the approval of this multiannual programme, Latvia has shown its commitment to the establishment of the common integrated border management system after it joined the Schengen area as of December last year. This programme will complement the actions financed under the Schengen Facility and reinforce the capacity of Latvia to meet the challenges of border control on behalf of the EU in a rapidly changing globalised world."
Latvia has chosen to implement four of the Fund's five 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. Establishment of IT systems required by Community rules on external borders and visas (VIS and SIS);
D. 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 and 2008 annual programmes in Latvia are:
-Integration of the national VIS with the central VIS and ensuring training for the end-users;
-Completion of the first stage of reconstruction of the State Border Guard College training ground;
-Launch of a regional training for the consular officers on visa issuing.
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: