Frontex launches first joint operation outside EU to curb illegal migration

BRUSSELS, The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, in cooperation with the Albanian authorities, will launch the first ever joint operation on the territory of a neighboring non-EU country.

As of Wednesday, teams from Frontex will be deployed together with Albanian border guards at the Greek-Albanian border to “control migratory flows, to tackle cross-border crime, including migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings and terrorism,” said Frontex in a press release Tuesday.

The launch event will take place in the Albanian capital Tirana, with the presence of EU Commissioner for Migration and Interior Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos, Executive Director of Frontex Fabrice Leggeri and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

“With the first ever deployment of European Border and Coast Guard teams outside of the EU, we are opening an entirely new chapter in our cooperation on migration and border management with Albania and with the whole Western Balkan region. This is a real game changer and a truly historical step,” said Avramopoulos in a statement.

“We can only effectively deal with the many challenges at our borders if we work together across borders,” said Leggeri.

At the start of the operation, the Agency will be deploying 50 officers, 16 patrol cars and 1 thermo-vision van from 12 EU Member States.

Source: Kuwait News Agency