The revamped European Border and Coast Guard Agency has begun its inaugural operations along the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Brussels hopes that the new agency will heal rifts among EU members over its migrant policies.
The European Union's beefed-up border task force began its inaugural operations along the Bulgarian-Turkish border on Thursday, as the bloc desperately seeks to establish a unified strategy to tackle the continent's migration crisis.
EU officials inaugurated the new task force at the Kapitan-Andreevo checkpoint between Turkey and Bulgaria, the main land frontier for migrants entering Europe.
The EU's migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, hailed the inauguration as a "milestone in the history of European border management" during a press conference on Thursday.
Avramopoulos stressed that the agency "does not exist separately from the member states, nor does it replace their responsibilities."
"It exists for the member states and through them," he said. "That is why everyone must join in to operationalize and implement it as soon as possible."