After several days of inconsistent public statements by Italian officials, according to a statement on the Frontex web site “[t]he Italian Government [on 15 February] requested assistance in strengthening the surveillance of the EU’s external borders in the form of a Joint Operation. In addition, Italy requested a targeted risk analysis on the possible future scenarios of increased migratory pressure in the region in the light of recent political developments in North Africa and the possibility of the opening up of a further migratory front in the Central Mediterranean area. … In the current situation, the Agency foresees its main role as coordinating border guards from among the Member States, particularly with regard to second-line experts in the screening and debriefing of irregular migrants as well as in coordinating an appropriate operational response to the humanitarian needs in the area. In addition, the Agency is investigating the most optimal means by which to adapt a range of technical assets engaged in Sea Border Operations in the Mediterranean to the needs of the Italian authorities.…”
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