The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) will be sending four officials to Italy this week to help EU agency Frontex register refugees who have entered the country.
“In the next few days, we will send four officials to Taranto and Lampedusa on the southern coast of Italy to register refugees and take their fingerprints,” Reet Zeisig, head of the PPA’s International Cooperation Department told BNS on Thursday.
“One of our officials is currently working in Italy at the Tarapan refugee camp, collecting information from agents about refugees and their arrival,” she said.
According to Zeisig, it is important to contribute there where the migration crisis situation is complicated, and greater support from member states is needed.
Participation in operations with Frontex, the EU-established agency used to manage cooperation between member states’ border guards in securing the union’s external borders, provides Estonian officials with valuable experience, said Zeisig. Last week, eight Estonian PPA officials returned home from a Frontex-led joint operation in Greece.
In 2015, the PPA took part in 15 Frontex operations with a total of 122 officials. Over the course of these operations, Estonian officials patrolled borders, checked documents, and questioned illegal immigrants in different countries.
According to PPA spokesman Seiko Kuik, there are currently three Estonian border guards stationed on the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik