First Frontex-led Return Operation
On 25 January 2022, for the first time, Frontex conducted a return operation that was fully initiated and organised by the Agency itself. Upon request and decision of a Member State, Frontex is now able to conduct a return operation for the Member State. The return operation of January 2022 involved the return of 40 Albanian citizens from Madrid to Tirana. Frontex's service for return operations include:
- Dealing with technical and operational assistance in the organisation and coordination of return operations;
- Providing support in determining the identity of returnees;
- Cooperating with EU Member States and non-EU countries as well as other stakeholders involved in return management;
- Chartering airplanes;
- Engaging return officers from the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps;
- Taking over the contacts with the countries of return.
The decision about who should be returned remains the responsibility of the judicial or administrative authorities of the Member States.