This mainly concerns illegal denial of people seeking protection at the EU’s external borders: the European Parliament has strongly criticized an important EU agency.
Brussels (AP) – A European Parliament monitoring group has made serious allegations against the EU’s border security agency Frontex in a report presented on Thursday. In concrete terms, the responsible MPs criticize, among other things, the handling of references to violations of fundamental rights in the countries of deployment.
In the opinion of the inspectors, these were not dealt with quickly and effectively enough. Frontex boss Fabrice Leggeri has been identified as the main person responsible for complaints.
After the presentation of the report, Green MEP Erik Marquardt called on the EU member states to replace Leggeri. “The director of Frontex has been drawing attention for months with new scandals and distortions of the facts,” Marquardt said. Hundreds of reports of human rights violations should no longer remain without consequences.
Frontex was established by the EU in 2004 and expanded to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency following the refugee crisis that began in 2015. The actual border surveillance is still the responsibility of the Member States, but the Agency should actually ensure the joint management of the external borders and provide effective support to the national border surveillance units where necessary.
Recently, however, instead of visible progress, the work of Frontex units has mainly been criticized. These include possible illegal rejections of persons seeking protection at the EU’s external borders. According to media reports, Greek border guards have illegally returned boats carrying migrants to Turkey on several occasions. Frontex officials are said to have been nearby and not interfering. Several EU agencies are investigating the allegations. Frontex boss Leggeri has so far seen no wrongdoing by his authority.