First Update: 22 March 2021
Following the allegations against border control agency Frontex and its presumed role in the illegal pushback of migrants, 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. On this website I will publish regular updates regarding the process and the evolution of the work of the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group.
Written Question submitted by nine MEPs regarding the non-implementation of ruling C-808/18 by the Court of Justice of the European Union which ruled that the 2016 Hungarian legislation on pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers breaches EU law.
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.
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
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.
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.
In this letter forty MEPs request full information on the status and interim results of the preparation of the legal basis for the arming of Frontex.
Written Question submitted by MEP Tineke Strik regarding Fundamental rights compliance by Frontex staff and the current absence of the Fundamental Rights Officer.
In these documents (a letter and an information note) the Hungarian Helsinki Committee raises the issue of fundamental rights violations at the Hungarian- Serbian border and summarises the HHC’s experiences with Frontex and its human rights compliance mechanisms in the last years.
Pushbacks at our external borders have become a widespread practice. Why are these violations so persistent, and what can be done to stop them? We need a wider scope of the newly proposed monitoring mechanism, stricter enforcement of the rules and stronger scrutiny from the European Parliament and Commission.