Source: Schengen Visa Info
A team of forced return escort and support officers has been deployed by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, at the Larnaca Branch of the Aliens and Immigration Unit in Cyprus.
“Frontex has also deployed teams of forced-return escort and support officers in five other Member States: Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, and France,”
Through a statement issued yesterday, October 10, Frontex emphasized that this team consists of four officers from ground forces, who are tasked with providing support with assisted voluntary returns. At the same time, they will also perform the duties of ground support and escort, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to Frontex, before the team was deployed, they were trained by the Cypriot authorities to ensure efficient cooperation and integration with local officers.
“Frontex has also deployed teams of forced-return escort and support officers in five other Member States: Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, and France,” the statement reads.
Frontex has revealed that so far this year, it has helped return more than 18,350 people, of which over 39 percent have returned on a voluntary basis. In addition, all non-EU nationals who were returned with the support of Frontex did not have the right to stay in the EU by the decision of the relevant national authorities in the Member States.
In August, the agency also deployed a new team of return officers on the ground in Vienna to further support the Austrian authorities in implementing assisted voluntary returns. In this regard, Frontex said that these officers would also assist migrants during all airport procedures, such as check-in and security checks.
Over the past months, Frontex has successfully deployed officers on foot to support returns at Vienna airport and four other EU airports in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and France.
According to Frontex, voluntary returns are a priority for the Austrian Ministry of Interior and Frontex.
In the first half of 2022, Member States were assisted by Frontex in returning more than 11,000 people who have no legal right to stay in the EU, of which over 30 percent have returned voluntarily.
Moreover, in September, about 20 more officers were deployed in Moldova by Frontex to support local authorities with border surveillance.
Through a statement, Frontex said that this group of officers would patrol the Moldovan-Ukrainian border together with their Moldovan colleagues. It also provided technical equipment for border surveillance activities.
Currently, Frontex has 70 officers in Moldova and over 200 in other countries neighboring Ukraine to support them with border control and surveillance.