The European Commission announced Wednesday the creation of a European operation in charge of border management agency (Frontex) gradually substituted for the Italian Mare Nostrum Mediterranean. The operation, dubbed Frontex Plus by the Commissioner for Home Affairs in the EU, Cecilia Malmström, will take effect in late November and will depend on voluntary contributions from Member States. So far in 2014, it is estimated that over 100,000 people have tried to reach Europe through the Mediterranean. This figure is higher than in previous years, has been increased by the conflict in Syria and Libya.
The idea of the EU executive is to merge the two operations force Frontex (Hermes and Aeneas) and expand the number of contributing countries. “There is no European coastal guards, so the success of the operation depends on direct contributions from Member States,” said Malmström following a meeting with his counterpart trans Angelino Alfano. Starting tomorrow, the European Commission will work with the Government of Matteo Renzi to identify current needs. Subsequently, the EU launched a petition to the other members to participate financially and with human and technical (airplanes, helicopters and boats) resources in the mission States.
Frontex Funding is reduced to 80 million per year, so the new operation will not be viable without the participation of twenty-eight. “We need more money,” he underlined responsible for European Affairs. The Executive estimates that Italian Mare Nostrum, which progressively relieve Frontex Plus has a monthly cost of nine million euros for public coffers. ” All Member States say deplore the loss of life. This is important, but the Solidarity must be translated into concrete actions. I expect all countries to contribute to this operation, “remarked Malmström an urgent request for help to all European governments.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs in the EU has highlighted the ” ambition ” of the operation Mare Nostrum, which has saved the lives of thousands of immigrants. ” We do not know if we can find ways to do what has made Italy “, he pointed out while leaving the door open to a potential coexistence between the current device Italian and future Frontex Plus if the contributions of the Member States are not sufficient.
Italy launched the operation Mare Nostrum in October, shortly after the wreck that killed 366 people on the island of Lampedusa. Since then, Rome has pleaded for greater involvement of Brussels and other capitals in the control of the southern border of Europe, to avoid more tragedies in the Mediterranean.