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Head south for Frontex this summer. Reinforcements expected in the Mediterranean and Sicily

Recovery of shipwrecked migrants/refugees aboard the Tyr, the Icelandic Coast Guard vessel made available to Frontex (credit: Icelandic Coast Guard)
Recovery of shipwrecked migrants/refugees aboard the Tyr, the Icelandic Coast Guard vessel made available to Frontex (credit: Icelandic Coast Guard)

(B2) The coastal security operation carried out by the Frontex operation in Italy and Greece will be reinforced in the coming weeks, the European Commission indicated today.

Reinforcement at sea and in the air 

During the summer, which is the “peak period” for migratory flows, Frontex should deploy, as part of its Triton operation: 3 surveillance planes, 18 vessels (6 offshore patrol vessels and 12 patrol boats coastal) as well as 2 helicopters. “ Too many lives have already been tragically lost this year — underlined, in a press release, the French Fabrice Leggeri who heads Frontex (*) —. « We have significantly increased deployment levels in the central Mediterranean to support Italian authorities in controlling their maritime borders and saving lives ».

Extended operational area

The operational area will be extended to 138 nautical miles south of Sicily, which will fully cover the Maltese search and rescue zone. so as to encompass the area of ​​the former Mare Nostrum operation “, indicates the European Commission.

Increased budget

The European Commission has released an additional budget of 26,25 million euros to strengthen Operation Triton in Italy and Poseidon in Greece for the rest of the year (June – December 2015). That's a total budget of 38 million euros for Triton and 18 million euros for Poseidon. This effort will be continued next year. The European Commission is expected to increase Frontex's budget in 2016 by an additional €45 million for both operations.

debriefing teams

Several teams will be set up: 9 debriefing teams and 6 screening teams. " The role of debriefing officers is particularly important as they gather intelligence on criminals operating in Libya and other transit countries says Fabrice Leggeri. " Frontex can thus help the Italian authorities and Europol in their investigations and efforts to dismantle smuggling networks. » A regional Frontex base will also be established in Sicily. This will allow the European agency to coordinate the operation as closely as possible and work in close collaboration with liaison officers from Europol, Eurojust and the European Asylum Office.

(NGV)

(*) unofficial translation made by us

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).