Migration & asylum

Migration & asylum ....


First Update: 22 March 2021

In response to the allegations on the role of Frontex regarding pushbacks by Member States, the European Parliament has decided to establish a permanent Scrutiny Group for Frontex. While this Scrutiny Group will cover all aspects of Frontex and its functioning, the Working Group is explicitly tasked with an inquiry on the current allegations. I have been appointed rapporteur to this inquiry.

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In this letter nineteen MEPs call on the Commission to act to intervene in the case of Ms Maleno, human rights defender and founder of Caminando Fronteras Collective who was recently expelled from Morocco in retaliation for her work in defense of human rights.  

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Written Question submitted by MEP Tineke Strik questioning whether the Commission will react after new evidence of pushbacks at the Croatian border were found.

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Written Question submitted by MEP Tineke Strik regarding the risk of lead poisoning on the location of the new migrant camp on Lesbos.

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On 15 January 2021, the Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations (the “Working Group”) established by the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (“Frontex”) put forward a number of questions to the Commission.

Here the reply by the legal service of the Commission.

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In this letter, thirty-seven MEPs call on Croatian authorities to look into the case of Mr.Mahdi whose refugee status was revoked on 11 May 2020 on allegations that he represents a “threat to national security” and that he misrepresented his sectarian affiliation.

Responses: 0

In October 2020, a group of media outlets published evidence about Frontex vessels involved in human rights violations in the Aegean Sea. This raised serious questions about the EU agency’s denial of knowledge of or active contribution to pushbacks. The evidence shows how Frontex witnessed the Hellenic Coast Guard conducting pushbacks but also how the EU agency’s was actively involved in these activities. The situation at the Croatian-Bosnian border, where pushbacks and violence by the Croatian authorities are reported constantly, also raises questions on the involvement of Frontex in these breaches of human rights. In theory, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/1896) foresees Frontex’s obligation to terminate activities in case of violations of fundamental rights, as well as several mechanisms to prevent such breaches.

The panelists were: 

Prof. Nora Markard, Professor for International Public Law and International Human Rights, University of Münster Matthias Oel, Director - Borders, Interoperability and Innovation, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission Andreas I. Pottakis, Greek Ombudsman Tineke Strik, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA, rapporteur of the new European Parliament Frontex Scrutiny Working Group

Moderation: Neda Noraie-Kia, Head of Migration Policy Europe, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Thessaloniki Office

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Front-LEX and the Legal Centre Lesvos submitted this request for action on the part of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (FRONTEX or the Agency), pursuant to Article 265 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).

Front-LEX and the Legal Centre Lesvos invite the Agency to consider its position vis-à-vis its activities in the host Member State Greece and to immediately suspend or terminate all its activities in the Aegean Sea Region, in compliance with The Agency’s obligations under Article 46 (4) of European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) Regulation. 

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In this letter, Frontex Executive Director presents  the first Working Arrangement that is signed between Frontex and the Republic of Guinea, which establishes the framework for cooperation with the Guinean counterparts in a number of areas of the Agency’s mandate.

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When presenting the New Pact, the Commission put a lot of emphasis on the need for an effective return policy. The argument which Commissioner Johansson kept using was that only one third of the asylum seekers are being granted asylum, although analyses clearly show that during the previous years around 60 percent received protection, including in appeal. Another assumption underlying the proposals is that the current legislation on return procedures is causing ineffective return policies. This was exactly the reason behind the proposed recast Return Directive which is still under negotiation.

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