News Release

Frontex strengthens surveillance in Croatia


Last week, a Frontex surveillance airplane started monitoring the EU’s external borders in the Western Balkans area as part of Frontex Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance (MAS). This is a swift and tailored response to the request made by Croatian authorities to monitor the migration flows and help Croatia, as well as the neighbouring Western Balkan countries, address the challenges on the ground.

MAS uses surveillance planes that stream video and other data directly to the Frontex Situation Centre (FSC) at the agency’s headquarters in Warsaw where a team of experts analyses the data to provide quick feedback to relevant national authorities. It is an example of a new service that Frontex can offer with its autonomous technical equipment. Experts from Croatian authorities are present on board of the airplane, ensuring compliance with national procedures.

The airplane will perform up to 100 hours of aerial surveillance per month.

Overall, the number of illegal border-crossings on the Western Balkan route in the first half of 2018 amounted to 2100, which is about 60% lower than last year. 

However, Frontex data indicates continued pressure along the Greece-Albania-Montenegro-Bosnia and Herzegovina-Croatia sub-route, which is indicative of migrants trying to bypass existing security measures along the main route via Serbia. The agency already supports Croatia with 10 officers who assist the national authorities with detecting document fraud and stolen vehicles.

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