Protection of borders

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

This page is a translated version of the page Ochrona granic and the translation is 100% complete.

Other languages:
English • ‎polski

PROTECTION OF BORDERS – one of the basic features of the state is the territory in which the population realizes its social and economic needs. The role of the state is to ensure that these needs are met. The attitude of the state to its territory is referred to as sovereignty or territorial authority. The state border (s.b.) is multidimensional. It delimits the land area and the air space, the waters and the interior of the earth. The mileage of s.b. on land and delimitation of internal sea waters and the territorial sea with neighbouring states is defined in international agreements concluded by the Republic of Poland. Due to membership in the European Union, we can distinguish internal borders (with the member states) and external borders (with other states). In total the s.b. of the Republic of Poland is 3511 km long, including: 796 km with the Czech Republic, 541 km with Slovakia, 535 km with Ukraine, 467 km with Germany, 418 km with Belarus, 210 km with Russia, 104 km with Lithuania, sea border – 440 km (this is the length of the sections delimiting the territorial sea with Germany and Russia, and the line whose every point is 12 nautical miles [22,224 km] from the sea shoreline, and in the Gulf of Gdańsk – from the basic line of territorial sea; the length of coastline is 770 km together with Zalew Szczeciński and the Vistula Lagoon). The responsibility to protect the state border lies within the competences of the minister for internal affairs with respect to land and sea as well as border traffic control, and the minister competent for national defence matters is responsible for protection of the airspace. The main role in the implementation of the function of border protection is fulfilled by the Border Guard of the Republic of Poland (BG) established in 1991, which was entrusted with the following tasks: 1. protection of s.b.; 2. organising and conducting border traffic control; 3. issuing permits for crossing of s.b., including visas; 4. recognition, prevention and detection of crimes and offenses and prosecution of perpetrators, within the scope of BG’s competences, in particular: a. crimes and offenses concerning compliance of crossing of s.b. with regulations related to its marking and regarding the credibility of documents authorizing the crossing of s.b.; b. certain fiscal crimes and tax offenses; c. crimes and offenses related to the crossing of s.b. or moving through it goods and excise goods subject to excise duty labelling, as well as items specified in the provisions on weapons and ammunition, explosives, the protection of cultural goods, national archival resources, counteracting drug addiction, and population records and identity cards; d. crimes and offenses specified in the Act on foreigners and the Act on granting protection to foreigners on the territory of the Republic of Poland; e. crimes against general security and crimes against communication security that are related to air transportation; 5. ensuring security in international communication and public order within the territorial range of the border crossing, and within the scope of BG’s competences – also in the border zone; 6. embedding and maintaining border signs on land; 7. protection of the inviolability of signs and devices serving to protect the s.b.; 8. collecting and processing of information regarding the protection of s.b. and border traffic control and making them available to the competent state authorities; 9. protection of s.b. in the airspace of the Republic of Poland by observing aircraft and flying objects passing through the s.b. at low altitudes, and informing the appropriate units of the Air Force of the Polish Armed Forces of these flights. In order to recognize, prevent and detect crimes and offenses, the Border Guard officers conducting border services perform border operations, carry out operational and reconnaissance activities as well as administrative and procedural activities. Other public administration entities also participate in the protection of the s.b.: voivodes, field units of the Police, Operational Commander of the Types of Armed Forces with the help of the air defence command body and the Customs and Tax Service. On the other hand, as regards the protection of the European Union’s external borders, which is 1163 km long on land and is one of the longest sections of this character guarded by the EU member state, the Border Guard cooperates with the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union. [A. Misiuk]

Literature: A. Maksimczuk, L. Sidorowicz, Ochrona granic i obsługa ruchu granicznego [Border protection and border traffic service], Warszawa 2007.