A force of 450 border guards to help cope with large numbers of illegal migrants anywhere in the EU bloc should be fully staffed by the end of this year.
Diplomats said the pool would come from the national forces.
The member states have so far offered more than a score of planes, nearly thirty helicopters, 116 boats and hundreds of technical teams with mobile radar, night vision cameras and motion detectors.
European Union interior ministers backed the plan at talks in Luxembourg. The resources would be placed at the disposal of the EU border agency Frontex, rapidly deployable for emergencies – within 10 days of a member state requesting help. The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee approved.
Frontex does not have its own guards or equipment; It struggled last year to muster the means to carry out the bloc’s first joint operations near Spain’s Canary Islands, and in the Mediterranean.
Frontex coordinates individual EU countries’ efforts in securing the bloc’s 6,000 kilometres of external land borders and 85,000 kilometers of coastline.