New EU operation Themis responds to Italian appeal

Unlike Triton, new mission doesn't specify landing country

01 February, 19:15

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, FEBRUARY 1 - The new "Themis" operation by EU border agency Frontex "follows an appeal from Italy, supported by the Council of Europe in its July 2017 conclusions, to change the operating plan of the Triton operation", said EU Commission for Migration and Home Affairs spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud.

    Bertaud said the regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) involved in each rescue will "decide which port to send the boats to".

    "In the majority of cases it's the Italian Centre (IMRCC) that decides", she said.

    Frontex said Themis replaces the Triton operation, where it was "clearly indicated that all migrants" rescued in the operations "would be disembarked in Italy".

    "The Themis operational plan affirms that, as provided for in international law, if a Frontex vessel is sent by the IMRCC to conduct a rescue, that particular IMRCC will decide the place of disembarkation", it said, adding that "also for Triton international law was applied". (ANSAmed).

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