“Le Monde”, Paris: Frontex launches first expulsion charter

For the first time since it was launched in 2004, Frontex, the Warsaw-based agency responsible for the EU’s external borders, has funded and organised its own charter flight to deport undocumented aliens. Le Monde reports that on 28 September, “in a deliberately low-key operation,” 56 Georgian migrants arrested in Poland, France, Austria and Germany were flown from Warsaw to the Georgian capital Tbilisi. In 2011, Frontex, which has has been granted a budget of 676 million euros for the period 2008-2013, plans to organise and finance between 30 and 40 charters to repatriate migrants who have illegally entered the EU. For Frontex’s deputy director, the increased role of the European Union “will come as a relief to national governments who will no longer have to ‘carry the burden’ of negative public opinion, embarrassment and disapproval prompted by collective repatriation procedures.” Le Monde also notes that “another advantage” of grouped operations is that they benefit from the “added weight” of the EU, “which can exert more pressure than individual member states when negotiating with third countries on the return of their citizens.”

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