EU launches marine border squad
Rapid border intervention teams provide "expertise and manpower" to countries in extreme difficulties; consist of border guards and experts, such as interpreters; carry out border patrols, check and stamp travel documents; wear own national uniforms with armband showing EU flag; costs of operation, except salaries, borne by EU; Frontex vets requests for help, and draws up operational plan; Frontex also accompanies teams on the ground, and conducts regular training.
The European Commission unveiled its plan to create rapid reaction teams last month. EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini said at the time that the aim would be to have a pool of 250 or 300 experts from member states ready to be called up in emergencies. This would include specialists in first aid, translation, risk assessment and the identification of people, he said. Missions would be sent to the crisis area within 10 days of a request being made. EU states have also promised ships and aircraft to boost Frontex's clout. All border guards would wear their own national uniforms - with an armband identifying them as members of a joint EU rapid reaction team - but would be temporarily under the control of the host state. Frontex would bear the cost of the operation, though the members of the rapid reaction team would continue to receive their normal salaries from their own member states. (BBC News)
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