EU prolongs sanctions over actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity
The Council prolonged by 6 months the application of EU restrictive measures targeting actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. These sanctions consist of an asset freeze and a travel ban against 146 persons and 37 entities They have been extended until 15 March 2017.
The measures had been introduced in March 2014 and were last extended in March 2016.The assessment of the situation did not justify a change in the regime of sanctions nor in the list of persons and entities under restrictive measures. Information and statement of reasons for listing related to these persons and entities were updated as necessary.
The legal acts are available in the EU Official Journal of 16 September 2016. The decision was adopted by written procedure.
European Border and Coast Guard: final approval
On 14 September 2016, the Council gave its final approval to the European Border and Coast Guard. The adoption of the regulation, which the Council approved by written procedure, paves the way for the Border and Coast Guard to begin its activities in mid-October.
Robert Kaliňák, Minister for the Interior of Slovakia and President of the Council, said "I welcome the speed and the efficiency with which the Council and the Parliament have acted on this important issue. The way we manage our external borders directly affects the entire Schengen area, including its internal borders. The European Border and Coast Guard will help us better face today's challenges together. Only with effective management of our external borders can we return to normality within Schengen. There is no other way."
The main role of the European Border and Coast Guard is to help provide integrated border management at the external borders. It will ensure the effective management of migration flows and provide a high level of security for the EU. At the same time it will help safeguard free movement within the EU and respect fully fundamental rights.
It will consist of a European Border and Coast guard agency (the current Frontex agency with expanded tasks) and those national authorities responsible for border management. The main focus of its activities will be the establishment of an operational strategy for border management and the coordination of assistance from all member states.