(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, 27 MAG - The EU's Council gave green light to cooperation agreements between Frontex and Serbia and Montenegro. Thanks to decisions made today, the European agency will be able to support Serbian and Montenegrin authorities in tackling border management, conduct joint operations, and deploy staff in the regions close to the border with the Union. The aim is to combat illegal immigration and cross-border crimes, "further strengthening security at the external borders of the European Union," reads a statement issued by the Council. The agreement with Montenegro will come into force on July, 1, but the Serbs have not yet completed the ratification proceeding, and the deal will be effective as soon as this last step is completed. "Close cooperation with our Western Balkan partners is essential if we are to tackle shared migration challenges," said Davor Bozinovic, interior minister of Croatia, the country which is holding the EU's rotating presidency. (ANSA).