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Organisation Frontex are set to take shape in Piraeus, Greece.

Organisation Frontex are set to take shape in Piraeus, Greece.



ATHENS – With a signature on 2 August the new offices of the European Organisation Frontex are set to take shape in Piraeus, Greece.
An agreement to host the first pilot Frontex Operational Office (FOO) was signed in Athens by Frontex Executive Director Ilkka Laitinen and Michalis Chrisochoidis – the Minister of Citizen Protection of Greece.

Laitinen described the agreement between the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) and the Hellenic Republic as representing “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 EU hosting its joint operations via the establishment of a regional office,” he said.

The Piraeus premises will host the pilot FOO covering the external border areas of Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Malta. Its interests will include all operational spheres including sea, land and air borders.

The agreement includes the provision of 735 square meters of space in the Hellenic Coast Guard Headquarters in Piraeus. The premises and allied facilities will be available to the FOO for an indefinite period.

“The aim of this pilot Frontex Operational Office to be established in Piraeus, Greece, is to add value to Frontex joint operations in the Eastern Mediterranean region,” said Ilkka Laitinen. “The idea behind it is to see whether such an approach increases the effectiveness of operations and results in a more efficient use of EU funds, by strengthening the regional presence for covering the concrete operational and practical needs of Member States,” – he added.

The Piraeus pilot FOO is scheduled to become operational on 1st October 2010, with an evaluation to be conducted after nine months.

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