Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has launched a pool of experts who will support the return of migrants across the EU. The return pool will ultimately consist of 690 return monitors, return escorts and return specialists. Its size was based on past return operations, risk analysis and return activities foreseen for this year.

Return specialists will support identification of irregular migrants and acquisition of travel documents, including cooperation with consular authorities of countries of origin of returnees. Return escorts will support national escort officers during return operations coordinated by Frontex. Return monitors will carry out independent monitoring of return operations to ensure compliance with fundamental rights. All the experts will be able to identify persons in need of protection and refer them to the competent national authorities. The return pool will also include specialists in the protection of children’s rights. The profiles of return experts have been developed by Frontex in cooperation with the national authorities and the European Commission.

In 2016, Frontex coordinated the return of 10,700 migrants in 232 return operations. The agency also assisted Greece in the readmission of 908 people to Turkey.