In a large report this weekend, the newspaper Syre told about the development within Frontex, the EU’s border guard agency. Accusations of crime and misconduct are piling up at the same time as Frontex is growing rapidly, something that worries both human rights defenders and researchers. In light of the accusations Syre asked Swedish representatives about their view on the future of Frontex.
Since last summer Frontex has been accused of directly or indirectly been involved in pushbacks of refugees, flaws in the system of reporting serious incidents and collusion with EU-lobbyists. A pushback is a way of describing illegal deportations at the EU-border. The accusations are of border agents physically pushing refugees back into the country the came from without the possibility of seeking asylum. Reports of this happening in Greece has been noticed. Investigations of incidents in Greece and Turkey are ongoing and many organizations say this is a crime against international human rights law.
When asked about the accusations the liberal Center party and the governing social democratic party responded with the following statements.
Center Party, Jonny Cato, Migration Policy Spokesman:
– Control of EU’s external border must be maintained. Frontex is an important part of this work. But it is obvious that Frontex, as an EU authority, must respect international law. Everything else is unacceptable. There is therefore reason to continue to review the authority’s work and take measures to ensure that the work is carried out correctly. For example, Frontex needs to hire human rights observers – something that the authority has undertaken to do but has not yet done.
Social democratic party, Evin Incir, EU parliamentarian.
– International law and EU law must always be respected. Frontex is one of the EU’s largest authorities and has many competent staff who always do their utmost, even when it comes to upholding the EU’s fundamental values that protect human rights and freedoms. However, Fabrice Leggeri, the head of Frontex, has completely lost the trust of me and my group. We Social Democrats in the European Parliament have for months demanded explanations and action on the accusations leveled against Frontex. We want to see an independent investigation and Leggeri’s immediate departure.
Full article in Swedish: https://tidningensyre.se/2021/13-april-2021/vad-ar-frontex-och-vad-tanker-politikerna-om-eu-myndigheten/