A Frontex surveillance airplane started monitoring the Croatian border in mid-July after Croatian authorities requested help to secure its borders. Frontex is an agency which helps EU countries manage their external borders.
According to Frontex, the airplane monitors border crossings, streaming video and other data directly to the agency’s headquarters. There, a team of experts analyzes the data and alerts the relevant national authorities. Each month, the airplane will spend up to 100 hours in the air monitoring the Western Balkans’ borders.
Frontex has already sent 10 officers to Croatia to assist with detecting document fraud and stolen vehicles.
Over 3,000 refugees and migrants crossed into Croatia in the last month, and a similar number entered Bosnia and Herzegovina from Serbia and Montenegro.
Bosnia is also planning to strengthen security on its borders. The country’s security minister, Dragan Mektic, wants to have Frontex officers in Bosnia. He expects the European Commission to draft an agreement soon that would allow Frontex to help control migration and organized crime in the country.
The Czech Republic also recently offered Bosnia €1 million which Bosnian authorities will use to purchase cameras, telescopes and drones.
The security minister said he plans to deploy the Bosnian army at the border with Serbia and Montenegro. But first, Bosnia needs to modify its laws as only the Border Police, under the Ministry of Security, currently has the authority to monitor the borders.
Cover photo © European Union