Director of FRONTEX Ilka Laitinen & The Greek Minister of Citizen Protection Mihalis Chryssohoidis signed an agreement to host the first pilot Frontex Operational Office (FOO). Laitinen noted that Greece has done excellent work regarding cases of illegal immigration and that the agency will try to convince more EU member states to take part in this initiative and to be more decisive in tackling immigration at the European borders.
Mr. Laitinen also underlined that the agreement signed between The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at The External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) and Greece is: “an important milestone in the close cooperation of the Agency and the Government of Greece. The FOO project is designed to promote closer cooperation between FRONTEX and the countries of the European Union, via the establishment of a regional office, like that in Piraeus”
The Piraeus premises will host the pilot FOO covering the external border areas of Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Malta. It will include all operational spheres of sea, land and air borders.
Mr. Chryssohoidis who signed the agreement on behalf of Greece, claimed that the establishment of the office in the port of Piraeus will greatly assist the country’s efforts against human trafficking rings and illegal immigration.
The Piraeus based FOO office is scheduled to become operational on October 1st. After nine months the office will be further evaluated on its performance.