Magazine article Europe-East

Immigration : Frontex Launches New Mission in Greece

Magazine article Europe-East

Immigration : Frontex Launches New Mission in Greece

Article excerpt

RABIT, the emergency operation to combat illegal immigration at the border between Greece and Turkey, has come to an end. Operation Poseidon, a standard mission to be conducted by the Frontex EU border control agency, will replace it until the end of 2011. The resources and number of experts the member states are prepared to make available to Frontex still have to be determined, however.

Launched on 2 November 2010 and running until 2 March 2011 with 200 European border guards, "Operation RABIT, deployed by Frontex in Greece, was very important for stabilising the situation at the Greek land border with Turkey," commented Internal Security Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom. This rapid intervention mission requested by the Greek authorities owing to the sudden increase in immigration via Turkey "was a concrete demonstration of European solidarity," she added. The Commission, in the absence of an approximation of national asylum legislations and of reform of the 2003 Dublin II regulation for sharing the asylum burden, highlights its Frontex missions, such as the recent Hermes 2011 operation on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Poseidon 2011 will also be extended to the order between Bulgaria and Turkey. Prior to RABIT, the Greek-Turkish border was monitored by another terrestrial operation, Poseidon 2010.

ACTION PLAN

Border surveillance in the Aegean Sea was also carried out with the aid of 26 member states, resulting in 23,700 movements reported in 2009 and 6,600 in 2010. …

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