Frontex Guest Officers Sent to Work in Italy

Warsaw, February 25—Specialist screening and debriefing experts from six Member States/Schengen-Associated Countries (SACs) have been sent to assist the Italian authorities with the processing of irregular migrants in Italy. Under the provisions of Joint Operation (JO) Hermes Extension 2011, Frontex has deployed 20 expert personnel to immigrant detention centres in Crotone in Calabria, Caltanissetta and Catania in Sicily, and Bari in Puglia. Each centre will be assisted by two teams of interviewers, working in shifts, with each team being comprised of two Frontex Guest Officers working with an Italian Team Leader. In addition, a Portuguese aeroplane is being sent to assist with maritime surveillance and is expected to become operational on February 26.

At this initial stage of the operation, Guest Officers and technical assets are being taken from resources made available by France, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, The Netherlands and Belgium, in addition to those provided by Italy — the Member State leading the operation. However, Frontex has a wider pool of human and technical resources already made available by Member States/ SACs and is constantly receiving offers with a view to maintaining operational flexibility. The Agency’s Risk Analysis Unit has developed a range of possible scenarios and the Joint Operations Unit continues to work on possible responses depending on how the migratory situation develops in the Southern Mediterranean.

The table below shows the resources available to JO Hermes Extension 2011 as of February 25, 2011.

Italy (HMS) 2 Coastal Patrol Vessel, 1 aircraft, 5 experts, 2 cultural mediators
Austria 1 expert
Belgium 2 experts
Denmark 3-5 experts
France 10 experts, 1 aircraft
Germany 2 experts, 2 aircrafts
Hungary 2 experts
the Netherlands 1 aircraft, 2 experts
Portugal 7 experts, 1 aircraft
Romania 6 experts
Sweden 1 expert
Switzerland 2 experts
Spain 4 experts, 1 aircraft (at a later stage)