The European Union’s external border protection agency Frontex is currently examining a request submitted by Greek authorities for the the deployment of Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABIT) on Greek islands in the Aegean. Frontex is expected to come to a decision within five days.
Should Frontex accept the Greek request, then EU member states and other countries related to the Schengen Treaty may be asked to supply border guards and the necessary equipment in order to assist in the protection of Greece’s borders. RABIT regulations stipulate that only countries facing special circumstances themselves, which affect the execution of national duties, are exempt.
As explained by Frontex, when deployed, RABIT border guards operate under the command of the authorities of the country that requested the assistance. Currently Frontex has provided 16 craft, 2 helicopters and 195 employees to assist in operations in the Aegean Sea, as part of the Poseidon operation.
On Thursday Frontex came to an agreement with Greek authorities to expand their operations on the border with FYROM, where tension has risen in recent days. Frontex will begin deploying additional officers in the ear over the next week to assist in the documentation and registration of refugees and migrants.