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.

News Guide

EU Frontex


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section