The allegations are proven: Frontex impunity must end

Today, a  report by the European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF on Frontex’ has been published by the German weekly “Der Spiegel”. It shows the agency has been systematically involved in human rights violations and their cover-up at the EU borders.

The Left Group has requested a point on this topic to be added to the agenda of the plenary session of the European Parliament next week in presence of the EU Commission and the Council. With a budget of 754 million euros in 2022, Frontex is the most heavily funded agency of the EU.

The report speaks of “serious misconduct”, “lack of fiduciary duty”, “failure of leadership”: according to the text, Frontex top management not only ignored indications of human rights violations, they were also complicit. Former head of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, and his team gave instructions to look the other way in order not to witness pushbacks, and they covered up the illegal practices by Greek border officials. The report relentlessly exposes how Greek border guards in the Aegean Sea abandon refugees at sea on inflatable life rafts so that they cannot exercise their right to apply for asylum. Information has been withheld from the agency’s own Fundamental Rights Officer. To cover up human rights violations, aerial surveillance was suspended. Frontex staff circumvented the use of Serious Incident Reports documenting pushbacks to avoid any paper trail of violations.

Cornelia Ernst MEP: “Frontex is systematically involved in human rights violations and their cover-up at the EU’s external borders. No one can claim something else after reading the OLAF report. That is why the Members of the European Parliament must vote next week not to grant discharge to Frontex. I expect my colleagues from all groups to take their democratic responsibility seriously. Voting to not grant discharge is the only plausible position for anyone who takes human rights seriously. The European Parliament must not become an accomplice to an agency that has been completely out of control for years.”

The European Parliament will vote next Tuesday on the discharge of the 2020 budget for Frontex. Left MEPs will vote to not grant discharge.

The full report can be found here: https://cdn.prod.www.spiegel.de/media/00847a5e-8604-45dc-a0fe-37d920056673/Directorate_A_redacted-2.pdf

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