The Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia) and the Eastern European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, but without Russia, which insists on the creation of four COMMON EU-Russia areas) fall under the EPI. Seven Mediterranean countries have established a «Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement» (EMAA) with the EU, while Palestine has an interim EMAA agreement.  Syria signed an EMAA in 2008, but the signing was postponed sine die. Negotiations for a framework agreement with the remaining Libyan state have been suspended. The Republic of Moldova and Ukraine of the Eastern Partnership have entered into association agreements. Armenia concluded A.A. negotiations in 2013, but decided not to sign the agreement, while Azerbaijan was negotiating an AA. Article 54, paragraph 4 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/1624 provides that the EU must enter into a status agreement with the third country concerned when it is expected that teams will be deployed in a third country, when the team members have executive powers or other measures taken in third countries. In line with the EU`s cooperation strategy with the Western Balkan countries, status agreements were signed with five countries between 2018 and 2019, namely Albania, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. To date, three status agreements (Albania, Montenegro and Serbia) have been concluded, while the other two (with Northern Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina) have not yet been signed. The status agreement with Albania is the first (and so far the only) agreement to enter into force on 1 May 2019, with the first joint operation coordinated by Frontex on the territory of a third country launched on 21 May 2019 at the Albanian border with Greece. Violence can only be used with the agreement of the Member State of origin and the third country, in the presence of competent staff from third countries and in accordance with applicable legislation. Again, it is possible to deviate from the general rule, since in the absence of competent personnel from third countries, team members may be allowed to use force; However, none of the agreements provide for any other conditions, restrictions or procedural details relating to this waiver.
The Socialists and Democrats were in favour of the adoption of the agreements, although a rapporteur, Silvie Guillaume, was not present at the vote on Montenegro. The Group of the European Unitarian Left largely opposed the approval of both sides, although Spanish MEP Pernando Barena Arza did not vote on the agreement with Montenegro. Infographic – Border management: agreements with third countries Once the five status agreements are signed, Frontex could be deployed in all Western Balkan countries except Kosovo. EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said the agreements «will be another step towards bringing the Western Balkans region closer to the EU.» All the countries concerned are considered candidates for EU membership and the agreement on frontex operations aims to facilitate negotiations. According to Vollath, the statute agreements are a formal measure to ensure transparency and democratic control of the Agency`s actions in third countries. However, much of Frontex`s operations in these states will be included in an «operational plan» signed by frontex`s executive director and a competent authority of the state concerned. Article 7 of the status agreement with Serbia and Montenegro grants members of the Frontex team immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of these states for «acts carried out during and for the purposes of their official duties as part of the actions carried out under the operational plan».