The European Union’s border agency, Frontex, decided Thursday to keep its office in Greece despite earlier fears that it would be moved to another country.
A meeting of Frontex’s management board in Warsaw, Poland, concluded with a decision to restructure the office in Piraeus but not to remove it after objections to the idea were raised by Greece and Cyprus.
The Frontex Liaison Office, which has a staff of five, will be incorporated into the EU Regional Task Force, it was decided.
“This change will have no effect on Frontex’s operations in Greece, where we continue to increase the number of our officers assisting in registering incoming migrants,” said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.
“This is good news because it provides a platform for the coordination between EU agencies on the ground.”
Frontex, Europol and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) all have a presence in Greece, which has been at the forefront of the EU’s refugee crisis.
Frontex has 325 officers stationed on the Greek islands, of whom 167 are supporting identification and registration of arriving migrants.
“Frontex is in a position to steadily increase the number of staff who support Greece in its effort to deal with an unprecedented refugee crisis,” said EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. “At the same time, this guarantees that the organization will continue its other actions and operations in Greece.”