Ilkka Laitinen appointed as Executive Director of the EU Borders Agency
The Management Board of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders convening in Warsaw appointed Colonel Ilkka Laitinen as Executive Director of the new Agency.
Colonel Ilkka Laitinen appointed as Executive director of the EU Borders Agency
The decision was made on a proposal from the European Commission. His term of office will start at the earliest convenience and last for five years.
The Executive Director manages the Agency, prepares and implements the decisions adopted by the Management Board and is responsible for the budget.
Colonel Ilkka Laitinen has considerable expertise in European border management. At present, he works as Director of International Affairs at the Finnish Frontier Guard. Mr Laitinen was the Director of the EU Risk Analysis Centre operated in Helsinki in 2003-2005.
The EU Borders Agency performs the following tasks:
• coordinates and develops the operational cooperation between Member States in the field of control and surveillance of the external borders
• carries out risk assessments
• monitors the implementation of a joint training plan
• follows up on the development of research relevant for the control and surveillance of the external borders
• supports cooperation between experts in emergency situations; and
• coordinates operational cooperation between Member States in the field of removal of third-country nationals illegally residing in the Member States.
The EU Borders Agency does not have any supranational competence. The Member States are still responsible for the control of the EU external borders.
The Agency has a Management Board, Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director, and at the initial stage about 30 experts. The staff consist of officials, and national experts seconded by the Member States.
The Management Board uses the highest decision-making power in the Agency. It is composed of border guard chiefs of Members States and representatives of the Commission.
The Agency will take over, as soon as possible, the responsibility for the tasks of the EU Risk Analysis Centre, which ended its operations on 30 April 2005. Further, the land border centre in Germany, the airport centre in Italy, the maritime border centres in Spain and Greece, and the Austrian Ad-hoc Centre for Border Guard Training will probably be integrated into the Agency.
The budget of the EU Borders Agency is about 6 million euros this year and 10 million euros in 2006.