Europe

EU lawmakers green light new border guard agency

  • Migrants at a temporary camp operating on the Serbian side of the Serbian-Hungarian border near Kelebia, Serbia, Tuesday, July 5, 2016.  Hungarian authorities introduced new border regulations Tuesday, to stem the uncontrolled inflow of illegal migrants and guarantees an opportunity to have their asylum requests considered.(Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP)

    Migrants at a temporary camp operating on the Serbian side of the Serbian-Hungarian border near Kelebia, Serbia, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Hungarian authorities introduced new border regulations Tuesday, to stem the uncontrolled inflow of illegal migrants and guarantees an opportunity to have their asylum requests considered.(Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A migrant man at a temporary camp on the Serbian side of the Serbian-Hungarian border near Kelebia, Serbia, Tuesday, July 5, 2016.  Hungarian authorities introduced new border regulations Tuesday, to stem the uncontrolled inflow of illegal migrants and guarantees an opportunity to have their asylum requests considered. (Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP)

    A migrant man at a temporary camp on the Serbian side of the Serbian-Hungarian border near Kelebia, Serbia, Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Hungarian authorities introduced new border regulations Tuesday, to stem the uncontrolled inflow of illegal migrants and guarantees an opportunity to have their asylum requests considered. (Edvard Molnar/MTI via AP)  (The Associated Press)

European Union lawmakers have endorsed plans for a new border and coast guard agency to help manage thousands of people trying to reach Europe in search of sanctuary or jobs.

The scheme was approved Wednesday by 483 votes to 181 with 48 abstentions.

The new agency will be built up from the EU's border management agency Frontex. The plan was launched after national guards were overwhelmed by the arrival of more than 1 million people last year.

EU countries will establish a pool of 1,500 officers and technical equipment that the agency could rapidly deploy to countries struggling with extraordinary migration flows.

Liaison officers would be stationed in all EU states with external borders to monitor movements.

The vote means the agency could be operational by the end of summer.