The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) announced on Monday that it will launch a rapid border intervention (RABIT) to assist Greece in dealing with the large numbers of migrants at its external borders.
Frontex Executive Director, Fabrice Leggeri said the intervention is designed to bring immediate assistance to an EU Member State that is under urgent and exceptional pressure at its external border, especially related to large numbers of non-EU nationals trying to enter its territory illegally.
“Given the quickly developing situation at the Greek external borders with Turkey, my decision is to accept to launch the rapid border intervention requested by Greece. It is part of the Frontex mandate to assist a Member State confronted with an exceptional situation, requesting urgent support with officers and equipment from all EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries,” said Leggeri.
“Starting next year we will be able to rely on the first 700 officers from the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps to provide operational flexibility in case of a rapid border intervention. Today, we depend entirely on EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries for contributions to come through at this crucial time,” he added.
The interventions rely on the rapid reaction pools of 1500 officers and equipment from EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries, which are required to provide officers and staff within five days and equipment within 10 days.
“Our core mission is to protect the common borders of the European Union in support of Member States. In Greece, we contribute to this goal by supporting the registration of migrants and security screenings, which are also important for returns,” Leggeri concluded.