Frontex and Italy hold meeting on Operation Triton's future

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 1.8.2017 23:35

On Monday 24 July, new working group consisting of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) officials and Italian authorities held its first meeting in Warsaw, focusing on the possibilities of revising the operational concept of the naval Operation Triton. At the meeting, Italy was reassured by Frontex about its commitment to further support the country in migration management and return policy, while the Italian side determined as its primary interest the establishment of Code of Conduct for NGOs executing rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

The EU Operation Triton currently deploys 440 Frontex officers and support staff from 26 EU Member States. Current efforts aimed at the revision of the Operation’s mandate take place in light of the enormous migration pressure striking Italy in recent months. On Monday, Italy introduced a new Code of Conduct for humanitarian organizations operating in the Mediterranean, with main points including the obligation to allow Italian police on board or the prohibition of flares which are said to primarily facilitate the people smugglers’ illegal business. Five out of eight NGOs have, however, rejected to sign the agreement. It is expected that Triton’s new operational concept will include intensified combat against people smuggling networks, strengthened presence of Frontex workers in Italian hotspots, and wider use of the agency’s unique multi purpose aerial surveillance (MAS) system. Italy thus continues to create a European solution of the migration issue, which also includes a closer cooperation with a number of African countries.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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