New EU border guard launched at Bulgarian-Turkish border

New EU border guard launched at Bulgarian-Turkish border

The European Union launched its common border guard on Thursday, hoping it will help keep people away from a bloc that is still struggling with political aftershocks from an uncontrolled influx of refugees and migrants last year.

The new body, built on the basis of the bloc's current Frontex border agency, will have 1000 staff, will be able to purchase its own equipment and deploy at short notice.

It is supposed to have a reserve pool of 1500 border guards designated by member states for that, though in the past EU capitals have often been slow in responding to Frontex calls.

The new agency will have some 120 coast guard officers at the Bulgarian-Turkish border, where Sofia has built a fence that has cut the arrivals by a third this year to 12,500 people, Reuters reports.

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