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Arkiveringsdatum 220404:

ECRE 22-03-25:

Schengen borders code: More hostile borders - less space for human rights till sidans topp

ECRE published a Policy Note on the European Commission's proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU)2016/399 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders ("Schengen Borders Code amendments").

The European Commission presented the proposed Regulation as part of a of a mini-package of three new proposals, along with the proposed Council Decision on provisional emergency measures for the benefit of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland of early December 2021 and the proposal for a Regulation addressing situations of instrumentalisation in the field of migration and asylum (COM(2021) 890) (the "Instrumentalisation Regulation")

ECRE has serious concerns about many of the other SBC amendments, including the necessity and proportionality of the measures; the definition of instrumentalisation; the limiting of number and opening times of border crossings; the expansion of border surveillance; the broad exercise of imprecise public powers; the increases in the transfer of people across internal borders with fewer safeguards; and amendments to the Return Directive that could mean a proliferation of bilateral readmission agreements and people being subject to return decisions without an individual assessment. For the provisions relating to epidemics, ECRE welcomes the fact that requesting asylum and humanitarian grounds would be considered as essential travel and would, therefore, be exempt from restrictions at EU borders.

For these reasons, ECRE recommends rejecting the most harmful amendments, such as the concept of instrumentalisation itself and the restriction of access at the border for people who could be seeking asylum. ECRE also proposes improvements should these concepts be maintained.

A summary of ECRE's recommendations for the co-legislators is included at the end of this note, which should be read in conjunction with ECRE's more detailed Comments on the Schengen Borders Code amendments and the Instrumentalisation Regulation.

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EU-parlamentet 22-03- 31:

MEPs withhold discharge of EU border control agency Frontex' accounts till sidans topp

+ Border and Coast guard's discharge withheld due to failure to meet conditions set out in previous discharge and OLAF findings on misconduct

+ Rule of law violations leading to losses for the EU budget must be addressed immediately

+ More checks needed to ensure COVID-19-related expenditure is legal and efficient

On Thursday, the Budgetary Control Committee recommended clearing most of the EU accounts for 2020, but postponed the decision on the European Border and Coast guard Agency.

In a vote with 6 in favour to 23 against and 1 abstentions in the so-called discharge procedure, MEPs in the Budgetary Control Committee postponed the decision on the 2020 accounts of the EU's border control agency, Frontex. They cited, as reasons behind the decision, a failure to fulfil the conditions set out in Parliament's previous discharge report, as well as findings by the EU's Anti-Fraud watchdog regarding harassment, misconduct and migrant pushbacks involving the Agency, presented to the committee by the OLAF Director-General and judged by the Members to be serious enough to postpone the discharge. Reported violations in Greece were not addressed and the operations in Hungary were continued regardless of the ruling by the Court of Justice that refugee return operations in Hungary in 2020 were incompatible with EU law, they say.

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Arkiveringsdatum 220324:

Frontex 22-03-21:

Frontex sending standing corps officers to Moldova till sidans topp

Following the signing of status agreement last Thursday between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova regarding operational activities carried out by Frontex, the Agency has just signed with Moldavian authorities the Operational Plan allowing the start of Frontex Joint Operation (JO) in Moldova.

The aim of the Joint Operation (JO) Moldova is to provide increased technical and operational assistance to the host country, by coordinating operational activities on the territory and under the control of the authorities of the Republic of Moldova.

Frontex standing corps officers will assist Moldovan authorities in processing the massive number of people fleeing the war in Ukraine and crossing the border with Moldova, and perform other border control-related tasks if needed. They include border control officers and document experts.

The operation's goals are also to control illegal immigration flows, tackle cross-border crime and to enhance European cooperation and law enforcement activities. JO Moldova is implemented within the Multipurpose Operational Activities in Third Countries. Currently there are already 18 standing corps officers pre-deployed in Moldova and the operation will see the deployment of up to 84 standing corps officers and document inspection devices to support border checks.

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EU-kommissionen 22-03-15: Förslag till RÅDETS BESLUT om operativa åtgärder som genomförs av Europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningsbyrån i Republiken Moldavien (Extern länk)

Europeiska Unionens Råd 22-03-17: Moldavien: rådet fattar beslut om avtal om operativt stöd från Frontex efter Rysslands invasion av Ukraina (Extern länk)

Se även:

Frontex 22-03-02: Frontex to send additional officers to Romania (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 220316:

Frontex 22-03-11:

First humanitarian return flights by Frontex till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, started supporting EU Member States in the organisation of humanitarian return flights. The aim is to help non-Ukrainian and non-EU citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine reach their home countries. Frontex can charter aircrafts or buy tickets for commercial flights to allow them to leave.

394 people already left Poland on two charter flights to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan on 10 and 11 March. The majority of them were families with children.

The agency is cooperating with the Member States' border guard authorities to manage the wave of people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Besides organising humanitarian return flights, Frontex has also deployed standing corps officers and equipment in the Member States bordering with Ukraine.

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Arkiveringsdatum 220304:

FRA 22-03-03:

EU borders situation: a serious fundamental rights concern in 2021 till sidans topp

At the end of 2021, allegations for the treatment of migrants at EU borders as well as difficult conditions in detention and reception centres remained a persistent fundamental rights concern. This is according to the latest migration bulletin from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

FRA's latest migration bulletin covers the last three months in 2021.

The bulletin mentions allegations of collective expulsions as migrants are turned away at some of the EU's land and sea borders without an opportunity to apply for international protection.

The migration and asylum pressures at the EU's Belarusian border also feature where, according to the UN's Refugee Agency (UNHCR), thousands of migrants were stranded along the border in Belarus. As the weather turned cold, reportedly many people died.

The Bulletin also points to allegations of mistreatment of migrants at the borders.

Overcrowding, and poor access to clean water and sanitation in detention, reception centres and camps in some countries remains a recurring fundamental rights issue.

This migration bulletin covers 1 October until 31 December 2021. It looks at the fundamental rights situation in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The next edition will cover the situation resulting from the war in Ukraine.

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Arkiveringsdatum 220215:

European Ombudsman 22-01-17:

How Frontex complies with its fundamental rights obligations till sidans topp

Decision in OI/4/2021/MHZ on how the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) complies with its fundamental rights obligations and ensures accountability in relation to its enhanced responsibilities

This own-initiative inquiry assessed how the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is complying with its fundamental rights and transparency obligations under Regulation 2019/1896 ('the Frontex Regulation'), which expanded Frontex's mandate.

The inquiry looked into how Frontex ensures the transparency of its 'operational plans', which define the parameters of its operations, and how it decides to suspend, terminate or not launch an activity due to fundamental rights concerns. The inquiry also assessed the monitoring of fundamental rights compliance in forced returns and Frontex's guidance for the screening process of undocumented individuals who cross or attempt to cross an external EU border irregularly.

Based on the inquiry, the Ombudsman set out a series of suggestions to Frontex, with a view to improving its accountability. The Ombudsman encourages Frontex to be proactively transparent in relation to operational plans and the fundamental rights analysis on which its Executive Director bases decisions to launch, suspend or terminate operations. She suggests that Frontex issue specific instructions to 'screening teams' that carry out interviews of refugees. The Ombudsman also encourages Frontex to improve the monitoring of forced returns in which those escorting returnees are Frontex staff and to guarantee better reporting of monitoring operations.

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Justitiedepartementet 22-01-24:

Ändringar i Schengens gränskodex till sidans topp

Fakta-pm om EU-förslag 2021/22:FPM42 : COM (2021) 891

Förslaget rör ändringar i Schengens gränskodex, bland annat de delar som avser tillfälligt återinförande av gränskontroll vid de inre gränserna. Därutöver föreslås definitioner och förtydliganden av begrepp hänförliga till instrumentalisering av migranter och gränsövervakning. Vidare innehåller förslaget en helt ny bestämmelse som syftar till att vid behov möjliggöra bindande gemensamma åtgärder i form av ett inreseförbud till EU från tredjeland när det föreligger en situation med epidemisk potential. Ytterligare ändringsförslag omfattar justeringar av befintliga bestämmelser om polisiära- och andra myndighetskontroller i gränsområden där kontrollerna inte utgör gränskontroll.

Regeringen välkomnar kommissionens förslag i stort men anser att delar av förslaget som kan komma att beröra bland annat frågan om EU:s behörighet att lagstifta i vissa delar behöver klargöras. Det är viktigt att medlemsstaternas behov av flexibilitet beaktas, bland annat i de delar som avser avlägsnande av tredjelandsmedborgare som påträffas i områden nära inre gräns och avseende möjligheten för medlemsstaterna att återinföra gränskontroll vid inre gräns.

(...)

När det gäller tillfälligt återinförande av gränskontroll vid de inre gränserna innebär förslaget generellt att fler krav kommer ställas på de medlemsstater som avser fatta beslut om ett återinförande eller om en förlängning av ett tidigare beslut. Från kommissionen ska man enligt förslaget ta fram en enhetlig form för den notifiering som krävs innan beslut (förutom vid kontroller som införs på grund av oförutsedda händelser). Vid återinförande, men särskilt vid förlängning, kommer man enligt förslaget kunna kräva utförligare motiveringar och analyser om skälen för återinförande eller förlängning.

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Justitiedepartementet 22-01-25:

Rådsbeslut om provisoriska nödåtgärder till förmån för Lettland, Litauen och Polen till sidans topp

Fakta-pm om EU-förslag 2021/22:FPM43 : COM(2021) 752

Den 1 december 2021 presenterade kommissionen ett förslag till rådsbeslut om provisoriska nödåtgärder till förmån för Lettland, Litauen och Polen. Det gjordes med anledning av tillströmningen av tredjelandsmedborgare vid EU:s gräns mot Belarus som organiserats av den belarusiska regimen för politiska ändamål. Förslaget innebär att de berörda medlemsstaterna ges möjlighet att tillfälligt inrätta ett särskilt förfarande för migrations- och asylhantering för att hantera den rådande situationen. Förslaget omfattar även operativt stöd.

Regeringen välkomnar förslaget till rådsbeslut. Tillsammans med de övriga stödåtgärder som EU har vidtagit och vidtar kan de föreslagna åtgärderna hjälpa de berörda medlemsstaterna att hantera den nuvarande situationen på ett kontrollerat och effektivt sätt samtidigt som det säkerställs att grundläggande rättigheter och internationella skyldigheter respekteras. Det är också viktigt att det stöd som EU-byråerna kan ge utnyttjas fullt ut.

(...) I huvudsak handlar det om att de berörda medlemsstaterna tillåts att göra vissa undantag från relevant EU-lagstiftning på området. Förfarandet syftar till att underlätta för de berörda medlemsstaterna att hantera situationen på ett kontrollerat och effektivt sätt samtidigt som full respekt för grundläggande rättigheter och internationella skyldigheter säkerställs. Åtgärderna får endast tillämpas så länge som det är absolut nödvändigt för att hantera situationen orsakad av den belarusiska regimen och under inga omständigheter längre än sex månader. Kommissionen ska fortlöpande övervaka situationen och vid behov föreslå för rådet och de berörda medlemsstaterna att rådsbeslutet upphävs eller eventuellt förlängs. Förslaget omfattar även operativt stöd till de berörda medlemsstaterna.

Asylförfarande vid de yttre gränserna

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ECRE 22-01-21:

EU Eastern Borders: Commission emergency proposal comes under fire till sidans topp

Proposed EU measures to respond to the situation at the bloc's eastern border have been challenged by the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). A trip to Poland by German MEPs and MPs has confirmed that the situation for asylum seekers remains dire as authorities double down on border fortification. Poland's highest court has found the ban on media access to the border to be "incompatible" with the country's constitution.

On 13 January, the LIBE committee challenged Commission representatives on the European Commission Proposal for a Council Decision on provisional emergency measures for the benefit of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The measures aimed to respond to the arrival of 8,000 asylum seekers via the bloc's eastern borders over the course of 2021.

Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said the situation "de-escalated significantly" after more than six months, but still deemed the "emergency" measures justified given the role of Belarus in "instrumentalising" migrants. Johansson called on Lithuania, Poland and Latvia "to have legislation where pushbacks are not accepted and not normalised". Yet, all three member states have implemented "pro-pushback" legislation that breaches EU law.

When asked to explain the absence of infringement procedures, Commission Vice-President Margaritas Schinas cited a lack of evidence. However, despite restrictions on access to the border, evidence of "widespread" pushbacks has mounted as both ECRE and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reiterated during the hearing. Further, according to Schinas, the Parliamentary Legal Service's finding of incompatibility between EU and national law in the three Eastern member states: "is just a legal opinion, but we are talking about a political issue".

(...)

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ECRE 22-01-21: Balkan Route: Movement Increases in the Region as Europe Fortifies, Afghans Fleeing the Taliban Face Dire Conditions at EU Borders (Extern länk)

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Justitiedepartementet 22-02-03:

Förordning om bemötande av instrumentalisering på migrations- och asylområdet till sidans topp

Fakta-pm om EU-förslag 2021/22:FPM51 : COM(2021) 890

Kommissionen presenterade den 14 december 2021 ett förslag till förordning om bemötande av situationer av instrumentalisering på migrations- och asylområdet. Bakgrunden till förslaget är att det inte kan uteslutas att fler tredjeländer än Belarus i framtiden försöker utföra hybridattacker mot EU genom att utnyttja migranter i syfte att destabilisera unionen. Förslaget innebär att medlemsstater som utsätts för en sådan attack ges möjlighet att tillfälligt inrätta ett särskilt nödförfarande för migrations- och asylhantering för att hantera situationen. Förslaget omfattar även solidaritetsåtgärder och operativt stöd från EU:s byråer.

Regeringen välkomnar förslaget till förordning. De föreslagna åtgärderna kan hjälpa utsatta medlemsstater att bemöta situationer av instrumentalisering på migrations- och asylområdet på ett kontrollerat och effektivt sätt samtidigt som det säkerställs att grundläggande rättigheter och internationella skyldigheter respekteras. Det är också viktigt att det stöd som andra medlemsstater och EU-byråerna kan erbjuda utnyttjas fullt ut.

(...)

Förslaget till förordning innebär att en särskild ordning inrättas för att snabbt kunna aktiveras vid en situation där ett tredje land aktivt förmår migranter att ta sig till EU:s yttre gräns i avsikt att destabilisera en enskild medlemsstat eller unionen. För att kunna bemöta denna specifika situation anser kommissionen att det krävs åtgärder som kompletterar och förstärker de förslag till rättsakter och andra åtgärder som kommissionen har presenterat som ett led i reformeringen av EU:s gemensamma migrations- och asylsystem.

(...)

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ECRE 22-01-27: ECRE Comments: EC Proposal on Situations of Instrumentalisation in the Field of Migration and Asylum (Extern länk)

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AIDA / ECRE 22-01-27:

AIDA Comparative Report: Digitalisation of asylum procedures: risks and benefits till sidans topp

This new comparative report provides an overview of the use of digital tools and remote working methods in 23 European countries based on ECRE's Asylum Information Database (AIDA). It questions the risks and benefits of the use of digital tools in asylum processes and highlights several fundamental guarantees and procedural safeguards which must continue to apply to ensure that they do not infringe the existing European Union asylum acquis.

In practice, the use digital tools and remote working methods are widely disparate and remains the exception in Europe. Nevertheless, some tools have been gradually used in recent years to perform tasks in the context of border management and control, identity checks, analysis of various data, as well as in the determination process of applications for international protection. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further paved the way for their increased use in the future. The Common European Asylum system (CEAS) does not provide for clear rules on the use of digital tools in the asylum procedure and there is little guidance available in this area. This leaves Member States discretion and flexibility as regards their application in national asylum processes and raises complex legal questions on the interplay between refugee protection, data protection and digitalisation.

The report identifies a number of challenges and limitations in the use of digital tools across the different stages of the asylum procedure. These constraints may undermine the right to asylum where they create additional and unnecessary obstacles which prevent asylum seekers from effectively exercising their rights. The report also acknowledges the potential benefits of digital tools in limited and well-defined circumstances, notably when they aim to mitigate the negative effect of restrictive measures and help to ensure the continuity and functioning of asylum systems.

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Frontex 22-01-29:

First Frontex-led return operation till sidans topp

On 25 January, 40 Albanian citizens were returned to Tirana on a joint charter flight organised by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. The flight started from Madrid and had a stopover in Rome.

This was the first return operation fully initiated and organised by Frontex, from the pre-return procedures, chartering of the aircraft to contacts with Albanian authorities. Prior to the operation, each of the returnees received an individual return decision from the authorities of the relevant EU countries. The agency was responsible to set the timeframe, the operational procedures and, through the EU Delegation in Albania and the Frontex Liaison Officer, to contact the Albanian authorities. On the same time, the excellent cooperation with Spanish and Italian authorities ensured the success of the flight.

This operation is the first of its kind where the agency offered complete service capabilities to Member States, who wish to use this fully fledged return activity.

"This operation opens a new chapter in the way we can support Member States with returns," says Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri. "The excellent cooperation with the Republic of Albania but also with Spain and Italy has significantly contributed to the success of this operation," he added.

While the issuance of return decisions is the sole responsibility of Member States, Frontex provides a full service to them, ranging from technical and operational assistance in the organisation and coordination of return operations, supports in determining the identity of returnees, cooperates with Member States and non-EU countries as well as other stakeholders involved in return management.

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Frontex 22-02-04:

Frontex launches new land operation till sidans topp

Last week, Frontex launched a new operation at EU's external land border. The activity - Joint Operation Terra 2022 - will take place across 12 EU Member States and cover 62 border crossing points. In total, more than 450 standing corps officers from 28 EU and Schengen countries will support national authorities with border management.

The European Union has thousands of kilometres of land borders. The aim of the operation is to strengthen border control at EU's land borders, assist countries in fighting cross-border crime and strengthen EU's internal security.

From Finland to Greece, operation Terra will help Member States fight against migrant smuggling, trafficking in human beings, drugs smuggling, identifying stolen vehicles, document fraud and terrorism. Another aim of the operation is to increase cooperation between the participating Member States.

EU's external land borders, in particular the border between Greece and Turkey, as well as the borders between Croatia, Romania, Hungary and Serbia have experienced a significant increase in irregular migratory movements in 2021. The numbers also increased on EU's Eastern frontiers. Last year, there were roughly 8 000 illegal border-crossings detected on the Eastern land borders, a more than tenfold increase in comparison to 2020.

The standing corps officers will mainly focus on border surveillance, border checks and assistance in detecting fraudulent documents. They will also support host countries in gathering information on people smuggling networks and migratory phenomena and identify vulnerable groups. The officers will work alongside their national colleagues and under the command of the host country's authorities. The agency will also deploy patrol cars and thermo-vision vehicles to support their work.

Operation Terra includes activities carried out in the previous years under two separate Frontex land operations. The new operation, coordinated from the Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, brings them together under one umbrella.

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Frontex 22-02-14:

Call for proposals for specific agreements for specific countries of origin till sidans topp

Frontex will soon start supporting Member States and Schengen Associated Countries in providing post-arrival and reintegration assistance to non-EU nationals returning to their countries of origin. The assistance aims at helping returnees integrate back into society.

On 5 November 2021, Frontex announced the Call for Proposals NO 2021/CFP/POST/01 for a Framework Partnership Agreement to provide reintegration services to non-EU nationals returned to their countries of origin. This open call had the objective to conclude Framework Partnership Agreements with interested reintegration service providers (hereinafter referred to as reintegration partner or RP) for a period of four years.

The Agency received proposals from eight applicants which were carefully evaluated against the admissibility, eligibility and award criteria. Six applicants were offered a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA): Caritas International Belgium, IRARA, IOM, ETTC, WELDO and Life Makers Foundation Egypt.

Following this decision, the FPA's were prepared and sent to the applicants for signature on 28 January 2022.

The general objective of this restricted call for proposals is to conclude Specific Agreements with Reintegration Partners, that were selected in the previous call, for a period of one year, to cover the following 27 countries: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iran, Iraq, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Nigeria, N. Macedonia, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Ukraine, Vietnam.

The start date of the Frontex Joint Reintegration Services is 1 April 2022. The budget earmarked for 2022 for the co-financing of activities under this Call for Proposals is EUR 14,300,000.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 220125:

AYS 22-01-02:

Frontex and Human Rights 2021: A reading list till sidans topp

During 2021, millions of words were written on Frontex. Activist groups, monitoring networks, investigative journalists, NGOs... many groups have looked closely at the track record of the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, at its ambiguous position somewhere between Brussels and the external borders of the EU, at the numerous criminal allegations against it. Here is a selection of some of the year's best, month by month.

JANUARY

+ Politico's Frontex's growing pains. EU border force plagued by chaotic recruitment, COVID outbreaks and an investigation by anti-fraud watchdog and Der Spiegel's Scandals Plunge Europe's Border Agency into Turmoil are among the best overviews of the events regarding the agency in late 2020 and early 2021.

+ EU Migration Agencies: the Operation and Cooperation of Frontex, EASO and Europol. An analysis of the operational tasks and cooperation of the three EU agencies, which focuses on the expansion of their legal mandates, the reinforcement of their activities on the ground and the gap between these two dimensions. As the Regulations of these agencies stress their assistance and coordination role, their actual tasks have an operational nature on the ground: they guarantee the effective and uniform implementation of EU migration, asylum and border management measures, while also ensuring that the concerned Member States do not jeopardise the functioning of the Schengen area or the CEAS. (It is also a book!)

+ Frontex: Accountability Declined, report by Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor, documents and analyses the involvement of Frontex in Greece's illegal pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers to Turkish waters and the various violations of International and EU human rights laws entailed. The report also highlights a pattern of the excessive and alarming autonomy of Frontex, as its budget, role and staff are augmented by the EU without clear legal boundaries.

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Statewatch 22-01-05:

Frontex asks court to reject human rights case, seeks legal costs from asylum seekers till sidans topp

EU border agency Frontex is demanding that judges reject a complaint against it at the European Court of Justice, while seeking to recoup its legal costs from the applicants - an under-age asylum seeker and a recognised refugee.

In May 2021 the organisation front-LEX filed legal proceedings against EU border agency Frontex at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, calling on the tribunal to force Frontex to terminate its activities in the Aegean Sea due to the "undisputed and overwhelming evidence for serious and persisting violations of fundamental rights" in the agency's area of operations.

The application was made on behalf of two people - a child asylum-seeker and an adult who is now a recognised refugee in Greece, known as SS and ST - and argues that Frontex had contributed to the fundamental rights violations they suffered on the journey to Greece. It calls on the court to rule that Frontex failed to terminate or suspend its operation in the Aegean, Joint Operation Poseidon, as required by Article 46 of the Frontex Regulation.

Frontex, however, is arguing that the application to the court is inadmissible. In a filing with the court obtained by Statewatch, the border agency avoids the substance of the application - and thus does not deal with the allegations of serious breaches of EU law - and demands that its own legal costs be covered by the applicants.

A response to the application by front-LEX argues that under the procedure in question, concerning a "failure to act", there are multiple grounds of admissibility.

For example, while Frontex claims there are no victims in the case, front-LEX argue that the two individuals in question, known as SS and ST, would indeed be direct addressees of the measure sought - that is, a suspension or termination by Frontex of its operations in the Aegean.

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Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Frontex: Formal plea of inadmissibility (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

Front-LEX: Observations on the plea of inadmissibility (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211231:

Frontex 21-12-09:

Frontex and Lithuania agree on service weapons delivered to Frontex standing corps till sidans topp

Today, on the margins of the Justice and Home Affairs Council, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri signed an agreement with Lithuania's Minister of Interior Agné Bilotaité to deploy Frontex standing corps officers equipped with service weapons provided by Lithuania.

The agreement has been signed in the presence of EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and Slovenia's Minister of Interior Ales Hojs.

"This is a historic step for the standing corps and the European Union," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"The Frontex standing corps officers have undergone extensive firearms training, they have been vetted by national authorities and have completed a psychological assessment. I am grateful to Commissioner Johansson and the EU presidency for their presence. This will give us more flexibility to continue our support to Lithuania after the end of the rapid intervention," he added.

For the first time, the Frontex standing corps officers recruited as EU statutory staff (category 1) will be able to carry firearms for patrolling activities. This agreement will be followed by similar agreements with other national authorities in the coming months.

The use of force by Frontex staff is governed by the regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard, and includes a specific control mechanism. The officers work under the command of national authorities. Any incident involving the use of force shall be immediately reported to Frontex.

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EU-kommissionen / Statewatch 21-12-13:

Draft border proposals: "drones, motion sensors, mobile units to prevent crossings" till sidans topp

Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 as regards the response to threats to the area without controls at internal borders: "SENSITIVE UNTIL ADOPTION"

The European Commission is to propose amendments to EU border rules that would:

+ introduce a new mechanism for introducing temporary travel restrictions to be applied at all external Schengen borders (a reaction to the uneven implementation of rules introduced at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic);

+ in response to the "instrumentalisation of migrants" by non-EU states (think: Belarus), allow member states to limit the number of border crossing points and their opening hours, ensure that "A person who has attempted to cross or crossed a border illegally and who has no right to stay on the territory of the Member State concerned [is] prevented from entering the territory of a Member State," and increasing external border surveillance, including through "modern technologies including drones and motion sensors, as well as mobile units to prevent unauthorised border crossings into the Union";

+ change the procedures for reintroducing internal border controls between Schengen states;

+ give EU blessing to more stringent surveillance measures at internal borders, to try to prevent the reintroduction of border controls themselves; and

+ make it simpler to conduct the summary return of irregular migrants from one member state to another.

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EU-kommissionen 21-12-14:

Schengen: New rules to make the area without internal border controls more resilient till sidans topp

Today, the Commission is proposing updated rules to reinforce the governance of the Schengen area. The targeted changes will bring greater EU coordination and better equip Member States to deal with emerging challenges when managing both the EU's common external border and internal borders within the Schengen area. The update seeks to ensure that reintroducing internal border controls remains a measure of last resort. The new rules also introduce common tools to manage the external borders more efficiently in case of a public health crisis, building on the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic. The instrumentalisation of migrants is also addressed in the update to the Schengen rules, as well as through a parallel proposal for measures Member States can take in the fields of asylum and return in such a situation.

(...)

Coordinated response to shared threats

The proposal to amend the Schengen Borders Code seeks to draw the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure strong coordination mechanisms are in place to deal with health threats. The updated rules will allow the Council to quickly adopt binding rules setting out temporary travel restrictions at the external borders in case of a threat to public health. Exemptions will be provided, including for essential travellers as well as Union citizens and residents. This will ensure that the travel restrictions are applied uniformly, building on the experience of recent years.

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Hela pressmeddelandet (Extern länk)

Proposal for a Regulation amending the rules governing the movement of persons across borders, COM/2021/891 final (Extern länk)

Proposal for a regulation addressing situations of instrumentalisation in the field of migration and asylum, COM/2021/890 final (Extern länk)

Hämta faktablad (Extern länk)

Adapting Schengen to evolving challenges: Questions and Answers (Extern länk)

Förslag till förordning: Amendment of the Schengen Borders Code, COM(2021)891 (Extern länk)

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Statewatch 21-12-16:

Borders proposals: the only attack taking place is the attack on peoples' rights till sidans topp

In response to the arrival of thousands of people at the EU's borders with Belarus, the European Commission has published a raft of new proposals that would weaken asylum rights and strengthen border surveillance and controls. Described as "temporary" on 1 December, proposals published this week would allow their enactment whenever the Council deems migrants are being "instrumentalised" to "attack" the European Union.

The first set of new proposals came on 1 December, and were described by the Commission as "temporary legal and practical measures to address the emergency situation at the EU's external border with Belarus."

The measures would apply to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and have been critically analysed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles as having "an adverse effect on the right to asylum without adequately responding to the situation":

+ Extending the period in which asylum claims can be registered: ECRE note that "delaying registration makes it more difficult for applicants to prove their status," risking infringements of a variety of rights;

+ Extension of the "border procedure" for processing asylum claims: "the border procedure is also likely to happen in detention," and children and other vulnerable applicants are not excluded, again risking a variety of rights, state ECRE;

+ The proposals remove the suspensive effect of appeals against negative asylum decisions: effectively the 'deport first, appeal later' move introduced by the UK government in recent years, ECRE note that "Providing an applicant with an automatic right to remain on the territory during the period within which the right to an effective remedy must be exercised and then pending the outcome in case the right is exercised, constitutes the best guarantee of respect for the right and for the principle of non-refoulement";

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Läs mer (Extern länk)

ECRE 21-12-14: ECRE comments on provisional emergency measures for Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (Extern länk)

Maurice Stierl in The Conversation 21-12-06: EU solidarity with Poland on migration: a violent response to an imagined threat (Extern länk)

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FRA 21-12-17:

Border treatment still a top fundamental rights concern till sidans topp

FRA's latest migration bulletin draws attention to the increased migration and asylum pressures at the EU's Belarusian border. It points to the measures the EU Member States have taken to deal with the large number of people arriving at the EU's external border seeking protection.

The bulletin documents allegations of collective expulsions as migrants are turned away at some of the EU's land and sea borders without an opportunity to apply for international protection.

In some instances, there are allegations of mistreatment of migrants by authorities.

Other fundamental rights concerns include:

+ Overcrowding, and poor access to clean water and sanitation in detention, reception centres and camps in some countries.

+ The overuse of immigration detention.

+ Placing asylum-seeking children in detention facilities or restricting their free movement.

+ Inadequate access to education for migrant children in some camps.

In addition, more than four people per day on average died so far this year crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, estimates the International Organization for Migration.

NGOs continue to face difficulties when carrying out search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, according to FRA's latest update. It provides a snapshot of operations and developments, including open and closed legal proceedings against crew members or vessels, since 2016 up until 10 December 2021.

The update also contains an overview of vessels that were not immediately allowed to disembark migrants and had to wait at sea for a safe port for over one day in 2021 (as of December).

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211210:

EU-kommissionen 21-12-01:

EU-kommissionen föreslår åtgärder för att hantera nödsituationen vid gränsen till sidans topp

EU-kommissionen lägger i dag fram tillfälliga asyl- och återvändandeåtgärder för att hjälpa Lettland, Litauen och Polen att hantera nödsituationen vid EU:s yttre gräns mot Belarus. Därigenom kommer länderna att kunna införa snabba och ordnade processer för att komma till rätta med situationen, med full respekt för grundläggande rättigheter och internationella skyldigheter, däribland principen om non-refoulement. Förslaget läggs fram till följd av Europeiska rådets uppmaning till kommissionen att föreslå alla ändringar som krävs av EU:s rättsliga ramar samt konkreta åtgärder med tillräckligt ekonomiskt stöd för att säkerställa en omedelbar och adekvat reaktion i överensstämmelse med EU-rätten och internationella skyldigheter, inbegripet de grundläggande rättigheterna. Åtgärderna grundar sig på artikel 78.3 i fördraget om Europeiska unionens funktionssätt och träder i kraft när de har antagits av rådet och efter att Europaparlamentet har hörts. Åtgärderna kommer att gälla i sex månader.

- Under de senaste veckorna har vi lyckats sätta in EU:s kollektiva tyngd mot den hybridattack som riktas mot vår union, säger EU-kommissionens vice ordförande Margaritis Schinas, som ansvarar för främjande av vår europeiska livsstil. Tillsammans har EU-länderna klargjort att försök att undergräva vår union bara befäster vår solidaritet med varandra. I dag ger vi uttryck för den solidariteten i form av tillfälliga undantagsåtgärder som ger Lettland, Litauen och Polen de medel de behöver för att kunna hantera de extraordinära omständigheterna på ett kontrollerat, snabbt och rättssäkert sätt.

(...)

Läs mer (Extern länk)

Förslag till RÅDETS BESLUT om provisoriska nödåtgärder till förmån för Lettland, Litauen och Polen, COM/2021/752 final (Extern länk)

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EU-kommissionen 21-11-23:

EU föreslår svartlistning av transportföretag som underlättar människosmuggling till sidans topp

Som en del av EU:s gemensamma reaktion på statsstött utnyttjande av människor vid EU:s yttre gräns mot Belarus föreslår kommissionen och utrikesrepresentanten i dag åtgärder mot transportföretag som underlättar människosmuggling och människohandel till EU. Det är fråga om ett nytt verktyg i EU:s verktygslåda för att stödja medlemsländer som utsätts för sådana hybridattacker. Andra former av stöd som humanitärt bistånd bör komplettera åtgärder enligt det här nya instrumentet. .

- Försök att destabilisera EU genom att utnyttja människor fungerar inte, säger EU-kommissionens ordförande Ursula von der Leyen. EU står enat, och vidtar åtgärder för att lösa situationen vid EU:s yttre gräns mot Belarus. I dag lägger vi fram ett nytt förslag om svartlistning av transportföretag som är inblandade i människosmuggling och människohandel till EU, som jag aviserade för två veckor sedan. Vi accepterar aldrig att människor utnyttjas för politiska syften.

Riktade åtgärder mot transportföretag som underlättar eller ägnar sig åt smuggling

Den senaste tidens händelser vid EU:s gräns mot Belarus kunde inte ha ägt rum utan att vissa transportföretag medvetet eller omedvetet bidragit till utnyttjande av människor, vilket fått enorma humanitära konsekvenser och medfört allvarliga problem för säkerheten vid EU:s yttre gränser och stabiliteten i regionen.

För att EU ska ha lämpliga verktyg för att bekämpa utnyttjande av människor i politiska syften föreslår kommissionen därför en ny rättslig ram som gör att EU kan vidta riktade åtgärder mot transportföretag inom alla transportslag (mark, flyg, inre vattenvägar och sjöfart) som ägnar sig åt eller underlättar människosmuggling eller människohandel till EU. Åtgärderna bör vara proportionerliga och utformas från fall till fall. Åtgärderna kan vara restriktioner av verksamheten på EU:s marknad, tillfälligt indrag av licenser eller tillstånd, förbud mot att tanka eller utföra underhåll inom EU samt förbud mot att transitera eller flyga över EU, göra mellanlandningar eller anlöpa hamnar i EU.

(...)

Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Joint communication JOIN(2021) 32 final: Responding to state-sponsored instrumentalisation of migrants at the EU external border (Extern länk)

Factsheet: EU actions to counter state-sponsored instrumentalisation of migrants at the EU external border (Extern länk)

EU-kommissionen 21-11-23: Questions and answers on proposals to blacklist transport operators involved in facilitating the smuggling or trafficking of people (Extern länk)

EU-kommissionen 21-11-23: Emergency EU support available for migration and border management (Extern länk)

TT / Squid 21-11-23: Transportbolag kan stoppas för migranthjälp (Extern länk)

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Frontex 21-11-30:

Frontex holds International Conference on Biometrics for Borders till sidans topp

Today, Frontex is hosting the third edition of the International Conference on Biometrics for Borders in Warsaw, Poland. This year, participants focused on a topic which will influence EU's border management for the next couple of years - biometric interoperability at the EU's external borders. This includes important EU information systems such as the Schengen Information System, Visa Information System, Entry-Exit System, Eurodac and ETIAS, EU's Travel Information and Authorisation System that are key to the security of EU's Schengen Area.

The conference brought together EU and international experts, institutions, academia, research and industry representatives. The event started with a welcome message from Frontex Executive Director, Fabrice Leggeri, followed by keynote speeches by Olivier Onidi (from DG HOME) and Andrej Bra?ko (on behalf of the Slovenian Presidency).

"The role of Frontex is to deliver practical support to Member States' Border Guard authorities. With today's conference, we are providing a platform to help Member States' experts understand and discuss interoperability from an operational and user experience perspective," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri in his opening remarks.

"There is no doubt that the daily procedures of border control authorities in the EU will change significantly within the next five years. We want to support and accompany Member States in that process," he added.

During the discussions, panellists focused on finding ways to combine and interpret information from multiple sources to achieve higher accuracy and reliability and to support decision-making. The ETIAS Central Unit operated 24/7 by Frontex as of early 2023 will play a key role in that endeavor. They also reflected on the importance of fundamental rights safeguards in the context of the potential future use of artificial intelligence.

(...)

Läs mer (Extern länk)

Frontex 21-11-23: Frontex and eu-LISA sign cooperation plan (Extern länk)

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Statewatch 21-12-01:

Spin it to win it: Frontex seeks public relations support till sidans topp

Earlier this year we analysed the time and money Frontex invests in its public image. Media expertise has remained a high priority for Frontex, with a total of ¤315,000 set aside for three various media contracts this year.

A border agency courting public and political opinion, Frontex carefully builds a brand tough enough to please increasingly right-leaning politicians and public, while also attempting to embrace a humorous and humanitarian character.

Following the publication of a European Parliament report that found the agency "failed to address and follow-up" fundamental rights violations committed by member state authorities, Frontex took on the challenge of putting a positive spin on events, proclaiming on its website:

"Frontex welcomes the report by the Scrutiny Working Group and its conclusions which reaffirmed that there is no evidence of the Agency's involvement in any violation of human rights."

The agency is doubling down on its objective to use public relations to underpin its image in a year that has seen its reputation plummet, with its website listing tenders for three dedicated public relations projects, totalling an estimated ¤315,000.

1. A Frontex-own media studio

Procedure: Construction of a corporate video studio and modernization works in selected conference areas in Frontex headquarters

The studio will be based in Frontex's current headquarters, which the Agency plans to vacate in 2024, moving to its own premises in Warsaw (with an estimated building cost of ¤140,000,000).

Candidates have expressed interest and have been invited to participate in the procedure to award a contract with an estimated value of ¤120,000.

(...)

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Frontex 21-12-03:

First Euro-Arab Border Security Conference till sidans topp

On 1-2 December, the border management authorities of the European Union and the League of Arab States gathered in the first-ever Euro-Arab Border Security Conference in Amman, Jordan, to discuss how to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in response to global challenges.

The conference was a joint initiative of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, and the General Secretariat of the Arab Interior Ministers' Council (AIMC) of the League of Arab States (LAS), and was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Jordan, Mr Bisher Al Khasawneh, represented by Minister of Interior and the Public Security Directorate. The event brought together senior representatives from over 40 states, relevant EU and the LAS bodies, as well as representatives of international organisations.

In his opening speech, Jordan's Minister of Interior H.E. Mr Mazin Abdellah Hilal Al Farrayeh emphasised that border control is a significant common challenge and the need to galvanise cooperation within a Euro-Arab framework in addition to exchanging experiences and knowledge.

The EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Mr Olivér Várhelyi, reaffirmed the EU's continued commitment to closely cooperate with the Arab partners on border protection, fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings as well as organised crime.

In line with these priorities, the participants have gathered to build trust and expand networks between the border authorities of the two regions, especially with regards to addressing common challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and sharing experiences of the effective and efficient use of new technologies to facilitate mobility while ensuring security of our communities.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211122:

Justitiedepartementet 21-11-04:

Faktapromemoria: EU:s åtgärdsplan mot smuggling av migranter 2021-2025 till sidans topp

Faktapromemoria gällande meddelande från kommissionen till Europaparlamentet, rådet, europeiska ekonomiska och sociala kommittén samt regionkommittén om en förnyad EU-åtgärdsplan mot smuggling av migranter 2021 - 2025, COM (2021) 591.

EU:s handlingsplan mot människosmuggling 2021-2025 bygger vidare på de åtgärder som identifierades i EU:s handlingsplan mot människosmuggling 2015-2020. Åtgärderna som presenteras i handlingsplanen handlar till stor del om att intensifiera det gemensamma arbetet mot människosmuggling genom bättre utnyttjande av tillgängliga verktyg och genomförande av befintliga regelverk.

Handlingsplanen innehåller åtgärder för att förstärka samarbetet med EU:s partnerländer och internationella organisationer, fullt ut använda FN:s och EU:s sanktionsmöjligheter mot människosmugglare och förhindra exploatering av migranter, förstärka samarbetet mellan brottsbekämpande myndigheter och stödja brottsbekämpande arbete samt att förbättra kunskaper om människosmuggling och smuggelnätverkens tillvägagångssätt.

Regeringen välkomnar EU:s förnyade handlingsplan mot människosmuggling. Regeringen välkomnar i synnerhet handlingsplanens mål att angripa de kriminella nätverk som organiserar människosmuggling och ambitionen att komma åt personer högre upp i nätverkens hierarkier. Regeringen välkomnar också att handlingsplanen understryker att migranters grundläggande rättigheter ska respekteras och skyddas samt att barn, kvinnor och brottsoffer ska ges särskilt skydd och stöd.

Regeringen anser att handlingsplanen identifierar viktiga områden och åtgärder för att bekämpa människosmuggling. Det är viktigt att det finns en samsyn inom EU om att människosmuggling är ett prioriterat brottsområde. Det är positivt att handlingsplanen betonar vikten av samarbete med ursprungs- och transitländer för att motverka grundorsaker till irreguljär migration.

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Frontex 21-11-05:

Call for Proposals for Partnership providing reintegration services to non-EU nationals till sidans topp

Call for Proposals for the establishment of Framework Partnership Agreements with Reintegration Partners providing reintegration services to non-EU nationals returning to their countries of origin.

According to the Regulation (EU) 1896/2019, Frontex is bound to support Member States and Schengen Associated Countries in providing post-arrival and reintegration assistance to non-EU nationals returning to their countries of origin. The assistance aims at helping migrants integrate back into society.

In that context, Frontex is now launching a Call for Proposals aimed at concluding Framework Partnership Agreements with selected reintegration partners for a period of four years (with the possibility of a two-year extension), followed by specific grant agreements.

The start date of the Frontex Joint Reintegration Services is 1 April 2022. The budget earmarked for 2022 for the co-financing of activities under this Call for Proposals is EUR 14,300,000, while the total estimated budget for 2022-2026 is EUR 80,300,000.

Proposals may be submitted by any of the following applicants:

+ non-profit organisations

+ international organisations

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Frontex 21-11-05:

Frontex Entry Exit System Pilot Project till sidans topp

As the world emerges from the pandemic and traveller numbers continue to rise again, solutions are needed for a quick, seamless, and preferably touchless border crossing experience, while ensuring security. The Entry Exit System (EES) will change the way we cross borders and help protect the security of European citizens centralising the information on border crossings.

The system will register travellers from non-EU countries - both short-stay visa holders and visa exempt travellers, each time they cross an EU external border. It will register the traveller's name, travel document, biometric data (fingerprints and facial image) and the date and place of entry or exit, in full respect of fundamental rights and data protection.

Frontex has just completed the Entry Exit System pilot project at land borders, which was hosted by Spain and Bulgaria. The exercise simulated the future EES environment by collecting and cross-checking the required data in full compliance with fundamental rights and personal data protection measures. During the trial, four travellers could be processed at the same time under the supervision of one border guard, proving the efficiency of the system while maintaining direct control of law enforcement officers.

As part of the trial, practical demonstrations of the systems took place at Bulgaria's border with Turkey and Spain's border with the UK (Gibraltar) and included self-service kiosks, seamless corridors and mobile devices used for registration and verification of travellers.

Participants observed the processing of passengers and received feedback from colleagues operating the system. The lessons learned and practical operational outcomes will be used by Member States' border authorities and European agencies alike as the EU prepares for the implementation of the EES.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211104:

Frontex 21-10-20:

Frontex Consultative Forum publishes eighth annual report till sidans topp

The Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights[1] published its eighth annual report for the year 2020. The report outlines the main observations and recommendations that the Forum raised throughout the year with Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and its Management Board to strengthen fundamental rights protection in Frontex activities and increase accountability and transparency.

The report outlines the state of play of internal and external fundamental rights safeguards at Frontex, including the Fundamental Rights Officer, monitors, reporting procedures and the complaints mechanism. It also provides recommendations about the need to further strengthen fundamental rights in Frontex activities, such as aerial surveillance, engagement with non-EU countries and return operations. The Forum also issued recommendations with regard to the mainstreaming of fundamental rights in the Agency's training products and tools.

The Consultative Forum welcomes the recruitment of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer. However, the prerequisite of a solid fundamental rights monitoring system is the establishment of a due diligence procedure and the systematic deployment of the Fundamental Rights Monitors to the different operational areas.

The Consultative Forum has repeatedly expressed concerns over the delays in the implementation of the fundamental rights obligations stemming from the European Border and Coast Guard Regulation.

The Consultative Forum will continue advising Frontex on fundamental rights and encouraging the Agency to adopt a rights-compliant approach in all its activities.

Background

Created in 2012, the Consultative Forum brings together key European institutions, international and civil society organizations to advise the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in fundamental rights matters.

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EU-parlamentet 21-10-21:

EP asks for part of Frontex budget to be frozen until key improvements are made till sidans topp

MEPs agreed to close the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency's accounts for 2019, but asked for part of next year's budget to be frozen.

The recommendation to grant the so-called discharge to Frontex for management of its 2019 budget received 558 votes in favour, 82 against and 46 abstentions.

In the accompanying resolution MEPs recognise Frontex's ongoing efforts to remedy shortcomings identified in the Parliament's first discharge report in spring this year. Nonetheless, MEPs ask for part of the Frontex 2022 budget to be frozen and only made available once the agency has fulfilled a number of specific conditions. These include recruiting 20 missing fundamental rights monitors and three deputy executive directors who must be sufficiently qualified to fill these positions, setting up a mechanism for reporting serious incidents on the EU's external borders and a functioning fundamental rights monitoring system .

In a separate vote on Thursday, while adopting their position on the 2022 EU budget, MEPs by 470 votes in favour, 96 against and 125 abstentions, asked to set the amount of next year's Frontex budget to be put in reserve at ¤90 million. This constitutes around 12% of the agency's proposed draft budget for 2022 (¤757 793 708).

Council discharge

On Tuesday, by 651 votes, 47 against and 2 abstentions, MEPs also recommended not to grant discharge for the year 2019 to the European Council and Council. In their remarks, MEPs regret that the Council "continues to be silent" and does not cooperate with the Parliament by providing the necessary information as requested.

The Parliament has been issuing negative decisions regarding Council's discharge for each consecutive year since 2009.

Läs mer (Extern länk)

Sveriges Radio Ekot 21-10-22: von der Leyen: Inga EU-pengar till stängsel mot migranter (Extern länk)

TT / AB 21-10-22: Nya varningar från EU till Belarus (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211018:

Frontex 21-10-13:

ETIAS - The European Travel Authorisation and Information System till sidans topp

Around 1.4 billion people from over 60 countries around the world benefit from visa-free travel to the European Union. Starting at the end of 2022, these visa-exempt travellers will be required to apply for an ETIAS travel authorisation before they start their trip.

The EU will not be the first to introduce such a system: for many years now, visa-exempt travellers have had to apply for a travel authorisation to enter the US, Canada or Australia.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System - ETIAS - is being developed to maintain a high level of internal security of the European Union, while ensuring smooth border crossings for travellers.

Currently, border authorities in Europe assess whether visa-exempted travellers pose a security, public health, or migratory risk when they have already arrived at the border. ETIAS will allow for that assessment to be done before the travellers start their trip.

"ETIAS is an important part of the digitalisation process of our border management, helping to ensure the resumption of international mobility in the post-COVID world with higher security and safety standards," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

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Frontex 21-10-14:

Frontex tests aerostat systems in Greece for border surveillance till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is currently in the final stage of testing aerostat systems for maritime surveillance in Greece together with Hellenic authorities.

During the trial, the aerostats have been patrolling 24/7 in the vicinity of Alexandroupoli and on the island of Limnos, at various altitudes and in different weather conditions. Frontex examined how they could be used to detect unauthorised border crossings, support search and rescue operations and combat cross-border crime.

The aerostats are equipped with sensors, electro-optical and thermal cameras, as well as radar and automatic identification system receivers. Using satellite communication and a remote information portal, the situational picture at sea can be broadcasted in real time to Frontex and national authorities, allowing for an immediate reaction.

This four month-trial, which will be completed in November, is being carried out in partnership with the Hellenic Coast Guard and other Greek authorities. The technology used in the trial is supported entirely by European providers. Frontex is developing modern and efficient technological solutions for border control to support EU Member States. The agency continues to test a variety of technologies, including seamless border crossing systems, advanced surveillance and search and rescue platforms, as well as sensors and technologies for the disruption of criminal activities at EU borders.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211006:

EU-parlamentet 21-09-27:

EP committee asks for part of Frontex budget to be frozen till sidans topp

The Budget Control Committee recommended signing off on the expenses of the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, but asked for part of the budget to be frozen.

MEPs on the committee recommended granting so-called discharge to Frontex for management of its 2019 budget, yet to be approved by the full House.

While recognising that Frontex has taken steps to remedy the shortcomings identified in the first EP discharge report in spring this year, and with reference to the conclusions of the EP Frontex Scrutiny Working Group, MEPs still highlight outstanding issues. There are unresolved issues in recruitment and financial management, as well as in its operations in fighting illegal immigration and cross-border crime, and MEPs ask for further improvements.

For this reason, MEPs in the report, finally adopted by 27 votes to 2 against and 1 abstention, ask for part of the Frontex 2022 budget to be frozen, to make it available only once the agency has fulfilled a number of specific conditions. These include recruiting 20 missing fundamental rights monitors and three deputy executive directors who are sufficiently qualified to fill these positions, setting up a mechanism for reporting serious incidents on the EU's external borders and a functioning fundamental rights monitoring system.

Council discharge

By 28 votes, 1 against and 1 abstention, Budgetary Control Committee MEPs also recommended that discharge for the year 2019 should not be granted to the European Council and Council. In their remarks, MEPs regret that the Council "continues to be silent" and does not cooperate with the Parliament by providing the necessary information as requested.

The Parliament has been issuing negative decisions regarding Council's discharge for each consecutive year since 2009.

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Frontex 21-09-29:

144 people smugglers arrested in Frontex-led operation till sidans topp

On 3-13 September, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, led an international operation against serious and organised cross-border crime in Central and South Eastern Europe together with Austrian authorities.

The operation, known as EMPACT Joint Action Day (JAD) Danube, focused on combatting the smuggling of migrants, fighting trafficking in human beings and document fraud.

A coordination centre was set up in Vienna to support the exchange of information among the participants and to lead investigations into people smuggling and trafficking in human beings as a result of the operation.

On the ground, Frontex standing corps officers, along with customs, border guards and police officers from the participating countries were conducting border checks that brought impressive results.

In just over a week, the operation led to:

+ Arrest of 144 suspected people smugglers

+ Detection of 6656 irregular migrants

+ Detection of 76 fraudulent documents

+ Detection of 13 stolen cars

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Statewatch 21-10-05:

Presidency seeks to rush through new rules with border detention as "a key measure" till sidans topp

Member states see the use of detention as "a key measure" for the purpose of carrying out the "screening" of people arriving irregularly at the EU's external borders, according to the Slovenian Presidency, which hopes to rush the measures through to "strengthen the protection of the external borders and prevent illegal migration."

The proposal is contained in a document dated 22 September and sent to the Council's Strategic Committee on Immigration, Frontiers and Asylum (SCIFA) (pdf).

The Screening Regulation, proposed as part of the 'Pact on Migration and Asylum', would introduce "pre-entry screening that should be applicable to all third-country nationals who are present at the external border without fulfilling the entry conditions or after disembarkation, following a search and rescue operation."

This, the Presidency notes, is "aimed at establishing the person's identity, state of health and whether they present a security threat. The objective is also to channel that person into the appropriate procedure," for example, asylum or deportation.

Legal fictions

Introducing this procedure requires "the legal fiction of non-entry," in which certain rights are made unavailable to people by states pretending that they are not actually present on their territory - a move criticised by the European Parliament Research Service (pdf) for having "a negative impact on the effectiveness and legal clarity of the protection of the right to asylum and the principle of non-refoulement."

The screening process is likely to involve significant use of detention, as noted by the Presidency: "Member States might consider the restriction of freedom of movement as a key measure in preventing the persons concerned from absconding," an assessment based on responses by the member states to a questionnaire asking about existing treatment of individuals who may not fulfil entry conditions.

Speeding up negotiations

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Arkiveringsdatum 210808:

Frontex 21-07-30:

EU solidarity in Lithuania till sidans topp

Today, 60 additional standing corps officers have arrived in Lithuania to support the country with migration management due to increased pressure at its border with Belarus.

Earlier this month, Lithuanian authorities asked Frontex for additional support and the launch of a rapid border intervention.

In total, the agency is currently deploying 100 officers, 30 patrol cars and two helicopters in Lithuania. Experts from the Frontex European Centre for Return will also visit Vilnius next week to share information about types of return operations coordinated by the agency and discuss potential Frontex support.

The standing corps officers will work alongside their Lithuanian colleagues and help them with border checks, border surveillance, as well as the registration, identification and screening of the irregular migrants crossing the border.

After joining an operational briefing to get familiar with the current situation and the operational area, the officers will travel to selected border crossing points and start their activities the following day.

Since the beginning of the year, Lithuanian authorities registered more than 3200 illegal entries from Belarus. More than half of the detected migrants came from Iraq, followed by nationals from Congo (Brazzaville) and Cameroon.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210720:

Frontex 21-07-12:

Frontex launches rapid intervention in Lithuania till sidans topp

The Executive Director of Frontex has agreed to launch a rapid border intervention at Lithuania's border with Belarus to assist with the growing migration pressure.

Lithuanian authorities sent an official request for a rapid border intervention to Frontex on Saturday evening. Frontex has already sent officers and equipment to Lithuania on 1 July.

"The situation at Lithuania's border with Belarus remains worrying. I have decided to send a rapid border intervention to Lithuania to strengthen EU's external border," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"We will reinforce our assistance and send additional border guards, patrol cars and specialised officers for conducting interviews with migrants to gather information on criminal networks involved. This is EU solidarity in action," he added.

Only in the first week of July, Lithuanian authorities recorded more than 800 illegal border crossings at its border with Belarus. While in the first half of the year most migrants came from Iraq, Iran and Syria, recently the authorities have seen a change in the composition of migratory flows. In July, nationals of the Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal accounted for the majority of arrivals.

Rapid border interventions are designed to bring immediate assistance to an EU Member State that is under urgent and exceptional pressure at its external border, especially related to large numbers of non-EU nationals trying to enter its territory illegally.

Within the next days, the agency will deploy Frontex's own border guards together with officers from the Member States as part of the European Border and Coast Guard Standing Corps. They will work alongside their Lithuanian colleagues to jointly show Europe's response to the ongoing crisis.

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Statewatch 21-07-15:

Frontex has failed on fundamental rights, says European Parliament scrutiny group till sidans topp

EU border agency Frontex failed both to prevent human rights violations and to reduce the risk of future violations, says the report of the European Parliament's Scrutiny Group looking into allegations of Frontex's involvement in breaches of fundamental rights.

In its highly anticipated first report, the working group did not find "direct" Frontex involvement with fundamental rights violations. However, the report finds evidence that Frontex "failed to address and follow-up" violations committed by member states' authorities.

On this point, Rapporteur Tineke Strik emphasised at a press conference on today (15 July) that there were limitations to the investigations the group could conduct. What the investigations have revealed is that Frontex did not prevent fundamental rights violations from taking place, nor did they reduce the risk of them occurring in the future.

According to Strik, "what we did find was that Frontex saw violations by member states."

One such case, in which migrants were deliberately put in an extremely dangerous situation by national border authorities, was first referred via Frontex's Serious Incident Report (SIR) mechanism as a "Category 4" incident - one which concerns violations of fundamental rights. However, the executive director, Fabrice Leggeri, re-categorised the report as "Category 2" - incidents occurring during Frontex activities that are not related to Frontex staff or other participants in such activity.

Frontex referred this Category 2 SIR to the Greek authorities, and closed the case when they denied the allegations included within. This practice was found to be part of a pattern in which Frontex "found evidence in support of fundamental rights violations but failed to follow up on these," according to Strik.

Patterns of behaviour

(...)

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LiBE Committee 21-07-14: Working document: Report on the fact-finding investigation on Frontex concerning alleged fundamental rights violations (Extern länk till pdf-fil)

Frontex 21-07-15: Frontex welcomes report by the Scrutiny Working Group (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210701:

Frontex 21-06-16:

Frontex expands presence in Western Balkans with operation in Serbia till sidans topp

Today, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is expanding its operational activities outside of the European Union with the launch of a new operation in Serbia.

Serbia is the third country in the Western Balkans to host a fully-fledged Frontex operation with 44 standing corps officers from 14 countries helping to detect criminal activities such as people smuggling, trafficking in human beings, document fraud and smuggling of stolen vehicles, illegal drugs, weapons and excise goods, as well as potential terrorist threats. In the coming months, the number of officers is expected to rise to up to 87 officers upon Serbia's request.

Frontex already has nearly 150 standing corps officers and staff taking part in operations in Albania and Montenegro, along with patrol cars, helicopters and other equipment.

"I am proud, with Serbian Minister of the Interior Aleksandar Vulin, to launch the first Frontex joint operation at Serbian border with Bulgaria. Frontex officers from 14 member states will work side by side with Serbian police officers to surveil and protect the border and fight smuggling and organised crime," said Commissioner Ylva Johansson. "This is another step forward for the broader Frontex."

"Our successful operations in the Western Balkan countries show that cooperation across borders is essential to tackle various cross-border criminal activities in this key region for Europe. I look forward to seeing Frontex officers working side-by-side with their Serbian colleagues at our borders," said Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri.

The operation will take place at Serbia's border with Bulgaria, which has seen a rising number of illegal border crossings in recent years. The operation will be coordinated from the Frontex headquarters in Warsaw, Poland while the Local Coordination Centre will be established in the premises of Border Crossing Point Gradina.

(...)

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Frontex 21-06-22:

Frontex expands its support in Spain for the summer till sidans topp

Frontex and the Spanish National Police have launched Minerva, an annual operation that takes place in three Spanish ports during the busy summer holiday season.

Every year, Frontex provides additional border guard officers to Spain at the ports of Algeciras, Tarifa and Ceuta to assist with checking the people arriving from Morocco. The agency also deploys forged document experts and border guards trained to detect stolen cars. The information collected during the operation is important for the fight against criminal organisations and future investigations.

This summer, nearly 100 standing corps officers from 18 countries will be there to help speed up processing of passengers, while handling any possible illegal activities. During the peak summer days, border guards need to check as many as 10,000 cars and lorries arriving by ferries in the Spanish ports, along with thousands of documents.

The operation will run until September.

Se video om Minerva (Extern länk)

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Human Rights Watch 21-06-23:

Frontex failing to protect people at EU borders till sidans topp

Stronger safeguards vital as border agency expands

The European Union border guard agency's oversight mechanisms have failed to safeguard people against serious human rights violations at the EU's external borders, Human Rights Watch said today.

An analysis of the actions of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, known as Frontex, shows a pattern of failure to credibly investigate or take steps to mitigate abuses against migrants at EU external borders, even in the face of clear evidence of rights violations.

"Frontex has repeatedly failed to take effective action when allegations of human rights violations are brought to its attention," said Eva Cossé, Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Its rapid growth into an executive agency of the EU, with increased powers, funding, and legal responsibilities makes it all the more urgent for Frontex to put in place effective tools to safeguard fundamental rights."

Human Rights Watch has examined in detail the situation in three countries where Frontex has major operations and where it failed to act promptly or at all in the face of credible evidence of abuse. On June 8, 2021, Human Rights Watch wrote to Frontex with its findings with the intention of including its response in the report but has yet to receive a response.

European and international nongovernmental groups, including Human Rights Watch, and media outlets have consistently reported abuses- by officials from EU member states against people arriving at EU borders where Frontex is operating. These include violence, illegal pushbacks, and denial of access to asylum by countries including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, and Malta.

On June 23 Amnesty International is releasing related research on pushbacks from Greece to Turkey, which also includes a call for accountability for Frontex.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210616:

Statewatch 21-06-10:

Short-sighted Commission consultation on plan against migrant smuggling till sidans topp

The European Commission recently launched a consultation on the EU action plan against migrant smuggling (2021-2025). However, its strategy for the new plan did not involve a thorough evaluation of actions to date, and its questions for contributors "are clearly geared towards legitimising a pre-determined set of actions". Statewatch's submission called for public debate about the root causes of migrant smuggling and the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of EU action taken to prevent and punish it.

Submission to the European Commission's consultation on a new migrant smuggling action plan (also available as a pdf)

Key points

+ The impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of the current action plan should be the subject of an in-depth public evaluation prior to the adoption of a new action plan

+ An over-reliance on repressive measures is putting people at risk of increasing physical and mental harm and requires urgent reconsideration, along with an increased number of channels for legal migration and safe passage for those seeking refuge

+ Any cooperation with third countries must be strictly conditional on respect for international human rights standards and meaningful judicial and democratic safeguards

+ The numerous bodies that have been set up as part of the fight against migrant smuggling require meaningful forms of public, democratic accountability and oversight

+ CSDP actors and operations must be subject to judicial accountability

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European Court of Auditors 21-06-07:

Frontex's support to external border management: not sufficiently effective to date till sidans topp

In this audit, we assessed whether Frontex carried out four out of its six primary activities effectively to contribute to implementing European integrated border management, and thus supporting Member States to prevent, detect and respond to illegal immigration and cross-border crime. We also examined the preparedness of Frontex to fulfil its new and expanded 2019 mandate.

We concluded that Frontex's support for Member States/Schengen associated countries in fighting against illegal immigration and cross-border crime is not sufficiently effective. We found that Frontex has not fully implemented its 2016 mandate and we highlighted several risks related to Frontex's 2019 mandate.

ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.

Special Report 08/2021: Frontex's support to external border management: not sufficiently effective to date

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Arkiveringsdatum 210603:

ECRE 21-05-21:

Holding Frontex to account: Proposal for enhancing nonjudicial scrutiny mechanisms till sidans topp

In this Policy Paper ECRE offers an assessment of existing accountability mechanisms in regard to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) and recommendations to systematically use and strengthen these scrutiny tools, as well as to add new accountability mechanisms.

The revelations by investigative journalists in October 2020 of Frontex's involvement in activities carried out by the Greek Coast Guard preventing entry and immediately returning people seeking protection to Turkey put Frontex's activities in the spotlight. Several procedures were initiated, including an internal inquiry by a working group of Frontex's Management Board (MB), a European Ombudsman's own-initiative inquiry into the effectiveness of Frontex's complaints mechanism and independence of the Frontex's Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO), and an investigation by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) into allegations of pushbacks and internal harassment and misconduct. In January 2021, the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee) set up a Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) to assess Frontex's activities and organisation. The unprecedented number of investigations indicates that better accountability mechanisms are needed - in order to prevent wrong-doing in the first place.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210504:

Light House Reports April 2021:

Frontex in the Central Mediterranean till sidans topp

The EU borders agency plays a direct role in the Libyan coast guard's interception operations contrary to previous denials

Europe stands accused of creating a proxy force in the waters off Libya to do what its own member states and agencies cannot do themselves without openly violating international laws: intercept unwanted migrants and return them to Libya. The EU and its border agency Frontex have long denied this accusation even as resources are channeled to the Libyan coast guard which has intercepted tens of thousands of people trying to reach Europe across the Central Mediterranean.

There is a confusion of actors at sea with a Frontex mission, an EU naval mission, member states' maritime rescue centres and national coast guards, non-governmental organizations operating rescue vessels, as well as two separate Libyan authorities acting as coast guards. What role are Frontex and associated European air surveillance assets playing in the interception and return of asylum seekers by Libyan forces?

Two starkly different visions of what is happening in Libya's waters have been put forward. The first claims that Europe is investing in Libya's capacity to manage its own waters and perform search and rescue operations as any other country would. In this version of events the material support from the EU and Italy is capacity building for humanitarian and counter-smuggling purposes. Libya has asserted its own search and rescue zone to maritime authorities and is being assisted to set up a rescue coordination centre and equip a functioning coast guard equivalent to those of Italy or Malta.

The darker version of events, supported by independent experts and humanitarian NGOs, declares that the capacity building is a fiction, serving as a thin layer of deniability over Frontex and Italian command and control over a Libyan interception force. In this version, the withdrawal of European vessels and the investment in aerial surveillance is about directing the interception operations.

(...)

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ECRE 21-04-30: Investigations reveal Frontex' complicity in interceptions and returns to horrors in Libya (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210416:

AYS Special 21-04- 04:

Frontex and Human Rights - How did we arrive here? Part 4 (2021 So Far) till sidans topp

Working on an article about Frontex is not an easy task. Information and allegations about the agency are piling up on a daily basis. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of Frontex's increasing role in EU border management - with no accountability or respect for fundamental rights in its operation.

This is the fourth and last part of the Frontex timeline, on the events of 2021. We will update it every first Sunday of the month. As the previous parts, it starts with the most recent entry.

Full timeline (Extern länk)

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EU-kommissionen 21-04-09:

Border: Regulation improves cooperation between States and with Frontex till sidans topp

Today, the Commission has adopted new rules to upgrade the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), a cooperation mechanism for exchanging information among authorities responsible for managing the EU's external borders.

A Regulation to facilitate coordination within and between Member States to prevent and tackle serious crime

New elements introduced by the Regulation include:

Easier and more secure information exchange: the Regulation standardises the information that needs to be included in the situational pictures and in the various reports, making information exchange easier for all the parties involved. It also sets up an independent Security Accreditation Board composed of experts from Member States and from the Commission, to assess the security of the relevant systems and networks where EUROSUR data are exchanged, making the exchange of information more secure and reliable.

More effective reporting: Member States will report on any situation having an impact on the EU external borders via monthly report and case-to-case alerts. This will include reports on illicit trafficking, seizure of drugs, weapons and explosives, as well as on cross-border crimes including cases of abductions. These reports will allow the preparation of more accurate risk analysis, improving Member States' ability to react. Reports will not contain data to identify individual persons. Any exchange of data will continue to take place in respect of EU and national data protection rules.

Reporting on Search and Rescue activities: In addition to existing obligations under international law, Member States will have to report incidents and operations related to Search and Rescue, this will contribute to better detection of migrant people in danger and help save their lives.

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EU-kommissionen 21-03-02: COM(2021)96, förslag till ändrade förordningar om polissamarbete mm i syfte att införa screening för tredjelandsmedborgare vid de yttre gränserna (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210402:

Human Rights Watch 21-03-18:

Joint CSO letter on containment at external borders till sidans topp

Open letter:

Five years after the EU-Turkey Statement, European Civil Society demands an end to containment and deterrence at the EU's External Borders

The 18th of March 2021 will mark five years since the announcement of the "EU-Turkey Statement", under which EU and Turkish leaders agreed, among other things, that asylum seekers crossing from Turkey into Greek islands will be returned to Turkey. The statement led Greece to implement an array of laws and policies, designed to restrict the movement of asylum seekers, keep them in the designated "hotspots" on the islands (later named 'Reception and Identification Centres"), and facilitate their readmission to Turkey.

The policy of containment at borders is central to the new European Pact on Migration and Asylum, which introduces a "pre-entry phase consisting of screening and border procedures for asylum and return". According to the proposal, in this phase asylum seekers "shall not be authorised to enter the territory of the Member State".

Negotiations on these plans press on, irrespective of mounting evidence of the serious human rights consequences of this approach, including appalling reception conditions, containment, and violent border control practices. In Greece, resulting bottlenecks led to severe overcrowding, substandard reception conditions and delayed asylum procedures. Meanwhile, local communities who were initially welcoming are increasingly frustrated with the deteriorating situation and lack of EU solidarity.

(...)

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Frontex 21-03-19:

Frontex, EMSA and EFCA to strengthen cooperation on coast guard functions till sidans topp

On 18 March, three European agencies took a significant step towards strengthening the European cooperation on coast guard functions. The Directors of Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) signed a new working arrangement that will structure their work related to supporting national authorities in increasing the safety and security at sea.

This includes tasks such as search and rescue, border control, fisheries control, customs activities, law enforcement and environmental protection.

The working arrangement covers cooperation on risk analysis and information exchange on threats in the maritime domain, as well as information sharing in compliance with fundamental rights, data protection requirements, and access rights. The document also provides indications on collaboration for surveillance and communication services, and capacity building activities, as well as sharing of capacities.

The first tripartite working arrangement between Frontex, EFCA and EMSA was concluded and entered into force on the 18 March 2017 for a duration of four years. Since 2017, the three agencies have been cooperating to enhance the support provided to the national authorities carrying out coast guard functions in sharing maritime information, providing new surveillance and communication services, building capacity, analysing operational challenges and emerging risks in the maritime domain as well as by developing multipurpose maritime operations.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210314:

Frontex 21-03- 05:

Conclusions on fundamental rights and legal aspects of operations in the Aegean Sea till sidans topp

Conclusions of the Management Board's meeting on 5 March 2021 on the report of its Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations in the Aegean Sea

The Management Board thanks the Working Group Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations for the additional work done following the delivery of the Group's preliminary report at the end of January and takes note of the findings of the Group's final report. It also thanks Frontex' Fundamental Rights Officer, Fundamental Rights Agency and the Consultative Forum for their continued participation in the discussions of the Group.

The Management Board welcomes the explanations provided by the European Commission as concerns the legal framework governing Frontex's maritime operations. According to the Management Board, the recommendations and final conclusions of the Report of the Working Group with regard to Frontex's maritime operations in the Aegean Sea are coherent with these explanations.

The Management Board, being aware of the complex environment of the operational efforts of Frontex and host country assets respectively in the area, would like to underline the fact that approximately 28,000 persons were rescued in the Frontex coordinated joint operations, expresses its thanks, and acknowledges the professionalism of all border and coast guards officers that participated in these activities.

The Management Board takes note, that in total -8- out of the -13- examined incidents were clarified to the effect that no third-country nationals were turned back in violation of the principle of non-refoulement, or otherwise in violation of Article 80(2) of Regulation (EU) 2019/1896. In particular, -6- out of these -8- incidents took place entirely in Turkish Territorial Waters.

(...)

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Frontex 21-03-05: Roadmap addressing recommendations of Management Board Working Group (Extern länk)

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ECRE 21-03-05:

Frontex: One investigation closes as another begins and till sidans topp

The agency's role in return and ability to purchase firearms under scrutiny

European Parliament Scrutiny Working Group on Frontex starts work in the same week as the internal investigation of the Management Board delivers its report. Information of attempts to circumvent legal problems related to the purchase of firearms by relabelling them as technical equipment has been revealed. Member States want Frontex to play a stronger role in supporting returns.

The European Parliament Scrutiny Working Group formally began its work on 23 February and appointed Roberta Metsola, MEP EPP as a chair. The mandate of the Working Group is to monitor all aspects of the functioning of Frontex in particular compliance with fundamental rights, reporting and complaints procedures and transparency and accountability of Frontex to the EP. A report on the findings including recommendations will be drafted by Tineke Strik, MEP, The Greens.

In its first hearing on 4 March, the Working Group questioned Commissioner Johansson and Frontex Executive Director Leggeri. The hearing focused on the implementation of the fundamental rights provisions of the last Frontex mandate review, the investigation related to the agency's activities in the Aegean Sea, interpretation of applicable rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders and clarity of the political scrutiny role of the European Commission over the agency.

Ahead of the hearing, Commissioner Johansson has criticized the 'reluctance of compliance' with the new mandate from Leggeri. The Director himself welcomed the establishment of the working group and played down the investigation against Frontex launched by the EU's European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). Commissioner Schinas said that management issues in Frontex need to be resolved but defended the agency overall.

(...)

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Human Rights Watch 21-03-10: Frontex turns a blind eye to Greece's border abuses, Internal inquiry only exposed tip of the iceberg (Extern länk)

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EU-parlamentet 21-03-08:

Pushbacks at the EU's external borders till sidans topp

In recent years, the migration policy of the European Union (EU) has focused on strict border controls and the externalisation of migration management through cooperation with third countries. Although states have the right to decide whether to grant non-EU nationals access to their territory, they must do this in accordance with the law and uphold individuals' fundamental rights. Not only do the practices and policies of stopping asylum-seekers and migrants in need of protection at or before they reach the European Union's external borders ('pushbacks') erode EU values as enshrined in the EU Treaties, they may also violate international and European humanitarian and human rights laws. National human rights institutions, international bodies and civil society organisations regularly report cases of pushbacks at the European Union's land and sea borders. According to those reports, pushbacks often involve excessive use of force by EU Member States' authorities and EU agencies operating at external borders, and degrading and inhuman treatment of migrants and their arbitrary detention. The European Parliament has repeatedly called for Member States and EU agencies to comply with fundamental rights in their activities to protect the EU's external borders. Several international organisations and other stakeholders have condemned or filed legal actions against the practice of pushbacks carried out at the EU's external borders. In September 2020, the European Commission presented a pact on migration and asylum, including a proposal on pre-entry screening of third-country nationals at EU external borders, in a bid to address these potential breaches of fundamental rights.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210226:

ECRE 21-02-12:

MEPs vote for respect for human rights at the EUs external borders till sidans topp

Members of the European Parliament approved a report calling for respect for human rights at the EU's external borders. The approval comes amid continued revelations of mismanagement and misconduct by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex and ongoing violations by EU Member States.

A report by MEP and rapporteur for the Greens/EFA, Erik Marquardt entitled 'Implementation of Article 43 of the Asylum Procedures Directive' was approved by the European Parliament on 10 February with 505 votes to 124 and 55 abstentions. The report is based on an implementation assessment covering the use of border procedure under Article 43 prepared by ECRE. Commenting on the approval Marquardt underlined the need for an independent monitoring of the EUs external borders given the widespread human rights abuse and pushbacks perpetrated by EU Member States. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has recently released statements strongly condemning violations at the EUs external borders. Marquardt further noted: ""The Frontex files revelations show that there are serious issues with the governance of the EU's border agency that need addressing without delay". MEPs from the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) agreed on 29 January to establish a Frontex Scrutiny Working Group to investigate mounting reports of the agency's role in the illegal 'pushbacks' of asylum seekers.

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Hela artikeln med källor och länkar (Extern länk)

EU-parlamentet 21-02-10 (Texts adopted): Implementation of Article 43 of the Asylum Procedures Directive (Extern länk)

Se även:

IOM 21-02-09: IOM calls for end to pushbacks and violence against migrants at EU external borders (Extern länk)

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Frontex 21-02-15:

Management Board adopts the new Frontex Fundamental Rights Strategy till sidans topp

The Frontex Management Board has adopted an updated Fundamental Rights Strategy that governs the way the agency applies fundamental rights standards and principles in all its activities. The document, which replaces a 2011 version, is the result of thorough consultations between all in-house units and partners, started shortly after the EBCG Regulation 2019/1896 came into force.

The Fundamental Rights Strategy describes the impact fundamental rights have on Frontex activities related to integrated border management. It contains the requirements to comply with the agency's international and European obligations, while explaining what it means to respect, protect and promote fundamental rights of those who cross the EU borders.

The practical guidance of fundamental rights in the context of the agency's activities further relates to analysis-based planning, joint operations and return, cooperation with the Member States, as well as officers and authorities of non-EU countries. The Fundamental Rights Strategy also covers the responsibilities of participants in Frontex operational activities and the fundamental rights in education and training, research and innovation.

The Fundamental Rights Strategy will be elaborated into an Action Plan. This will include practical fundamental rights safeguards that guide the implementation of Frontex operational activities. The Action Plan will align with the Work Programme of the agency, to comply with its mission and operational goals within the framework of European Integrated Border Management.

Hämta dokumentet (Extern länk)

Frontex 21-01-21: Conclusions of the Frontex Management Board's meeting of 20-21 January 2021 (Extern länk)

Vänsterpartiet pressmeddelande 21-02-12: "Det räcker inte att Frontex chef avgår" (Extern länk)

Romain Lanneau in EU Migration Law Blog 21-02-22: Independent Monitoring Mechanism: a necessary but limited mechanism (Extern länk)

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ECRE 21-02-19:

Frontex faces another investigation by ombudsman, legal actions from NGOs till sidans topp

Following months of controversy, scrutiny and complaints over the conduct of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the European Ombudsman has opened another investigation, this time into access to information concerning the location of agency vessels on the Aegean Sea. Separately, NGOs are threatening legal action before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) if Frontex Executive Director, Fabrice Leggeri does not end the agency's missions on the Aegean Sea.

European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly has opened a new investigation into Frontex, based on a complaint by Spanish MEP Sira Rego, after the agency denied a request for information from Light House Reports concerning the positions of 16 vessels used in Frontex's maritime operations on the Aegean. The journalists investigating Frontex involvement in pushback operations requested information from the agency in March 2020 based on suspicions of their Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders being switched off during controversial operations making them impossible to track. In its initial response to an official request for information by Sira Rego from 16 November 2020, Frontex referred to a regulation guiding public access to European Parliament and Council and Commission documents, and denied access on the grounds that it involved sharing personal data and sensitive information and alleged risks of such information being used by human smugglers. Upon several additional requests by Sira Rego clarifying the lack of such a risk, the agency gave a second reply on 27 January 2021, stating that the required documents did not exist or were not accessible.

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Läs mer om anmälan från Front-Lex och Legal Center Lesvos:

abcNews 21-02-16: Lawyers give EU agency notice over Greece migrant pushbacks (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210208:

Statewatch 21-01-25:

Frontex and Mediterranean military force: cooperation on pullbacks to Libya? till sidans topp

A new agreement between Frontex and Operation Irini aims to increase cooperation on "the promotion of European integrated border management standards" and "situational awareness and risk analysis". Critics are likely to question whether the agreement will support 'pullbacks' by the so-called Libyan coast guard.

Cooperation will primarily focus on "cross-border crime, such as arms trafficking and the disruption of the human smuggling business model and trafficking networks," says the agreement (pdf).

Given that both Frontex and Operation Irini provide data to the Libyan coast guard that allows it to carry out 'pullbacks' of people attempting to flee Libya, many are likely to be curious as to quite what this cooperation on "the disruption of the human smuggling business model" entails.

A Frontex press release said the agency "will be supporting Operation IRINI with information gathered as part of the agency's risk analysis activities, such as tracking vessels of interests on the high seas, as well as data from its aerial surveillance in the Central Mediterranean."

This appears to build on cooperation undertaken through the 'Crime Information Cell' (CIC), set up during Operation Irini's predecessor, Operation Sophia. The purpose of the CIC is to "facilitate timely and two-way information exchange for analytical and operational use between Op Sophia and the relevant JHA agencies without creating new entities or changing their legal framework."

Artikeln med dokumentation och länkar (Extern länk)

Frontex 21-01-29: Frontex deploys first Return Team at Rome Fiumicino Airport (Extern länk)

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PICUM 21-01-29:

PICUM is no longer part of the Frontex Consultative Forum till sidans topp

PICUM is no longer a member of the Frontex Consultative Forum, a body which is meant for non-governmental, international organisations and EU agencies to assist the European Border and Coast Agency (Frontex) by providing independent advice in fundamental rights matters.

In May 2020, PICUM wrote a private letter to Frontex's Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri to raise our concerns in relation to both media reports on the agency's involvement in human rights violations, as well as concerning the Forum's working methods.

After seven years of membership in the Consultative Forum (between 2012 and 2019), and after long discussions internally, PICUM came to the conclusion that the Consultative Forum's working methods did not allow for our meaningful participation. As a membership organisation representing more than 160 NGOs, our ability to provide inputs within the Forum was strongly limited by a very strict confidentiality clause, which entailed risks of criminal liability if we shared sensitive or non-public information with our members. While the Consultative Forum has had some key achievements in the past years, we regret that the modalities of the Forum consultation often failed to provide us with the space for meaningful inputs. In some cases, the Consultative Forum was not consulted on human rights related matters, or was consulted only after key decisions were taken. We were often not given enough time to review and process information from the agency in a meaningful way. And Frontex often failed to acknowledge or consider the Consultative Forum's comments.

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Reliefweb 21-01-31:

Frontex: Accountability declined - Systematic cover-ups of illegal migrant pushbacks till sidans topp

Ahead of EU Commission inquiry, Euro-Med Monitor's report slams EU's Best-Funded Agency for Repeatedly Violating International and EU Laws

Today, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor published a new report that documents and analyses the involvement of Frontex in Greece's illegal pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers to Turkish waters and the various violations of International and EU human rights laws entailed.

The report, entitled "Frontex: Accountability Declined", highlights a pattern of the excessive and alarming autonomy of Frontex, as its budget, role and staff are augmented by the EU without clear legal boundaries.

In the 10 pushbacks presented, carried out by the Greek Coast Guard in the Aegean Sea between March and October 2020, Frontex vessels were either in close proximity or directly involved. Yet they did not immediately rescue the migrants in distress at sea nor did they report the abuses witnessed, as international and European law, together with the Frontex Code of Conduct itself, demand. On the contrary, Frontex dismissed the allegations, discouraged crews from filing reports on pushbacks, and, in some cases, stopped initial alerts of violations from being filed.

The episodes presented in the report stand out for the severity of the violations committed, the detailed evidence reported, and the reactions provoked so far at the European level.

The allegations led the EU Ombudsman to open an inquiry and the EU Home Affairs Commissioner to call for two extraordinary Frontex Management Board meetings and to establish a Working Group on fundamental rights. It will verify the allegations and deliver its first report next meeting, on January 21, 2021. In the meanwhile, several European MEPs have called for the immediate resignation of Frontex Executive Director.

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Statewatch 21-02-04: Frontex: Management Board pushes back against secrecy proposals in preliminary report (Extern länk)

Statewatch 21-02-24: Frontex: Agency's initial response to alleged involvement in pushbacks (Extern länk)

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Corporate Europe Observatory 21-02-05:

Lobbying Fortress Europe - The making of a border-industrial complex till sidans topp

The massive expansion of the budget, personnel, and powers of the EU's border agency Frontex has also seen increasingly privileged access for industry. This perpetuates a vision of border control based on more and more firearms and biometric surveillance that has major human rights implications.

Executive Summary

The massive expansion of EU border agency Frontex in recent years has not been matched by a corresponding increase in transparency, accountability, nor scrutiny.

Access to document requests reveal a disturbing trend by which arms, surveillance, and biometrics companies are being given an outsized role - unmatched by other voices - in shaping EU's border control regime.

This report gives the first comprehensive overview of this phenomenon, finding that:

+ Frontex holds special events for security industry lobbyists where they work hand in hand to promote 'solutions' based on techno-fixes, from biometric surveillance to firepower.

+ These corporate interests are not neutral parties but de facto seek to shape Frontex's approach to border control in their interests, and benefit from procurement contracts.

+ Meanwhile the agency has no real transparency or lobbying accountability mechanisms in place, and indeed denies that it is a target for lobbyists at all.

+ At the same time as the agency has open doors for corporate lobbyists selling defence and surveillance solutions which have major human rights implications, groups working to defend human rights are left on the sidelines.

The European Union's response to travellers, migrants, and refugees should be guided by the protection of human rights. This is too important an issue to be shaped by the interests of defence companies instrumentalising migration for profit.

Introduction

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Read and download The Frontex Files in full (Extern länk)

AYS 21-02-06: Frontex's close ties to security industry lobbyists finally exposed (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210125:

Frontex 21-01-11:

Frontex and Europol to exchange liaison officers till sidans topp

In December, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, and Europol signed an agreement to exchange liaison officers.

The agreement is part of the Joint Action Plan signed by the Executive Directors of the two agencies last year, aimed at strengthening the agencies' common effort in enhancing the security of EU citizens.

The liaison officers will contribute to information exchange between both agencies.

"I am looking forward to welcoming the first Europol liaison officer in Warsaw later this year. The exchange of information between the two agencies will improve the work of border guards and support investigations," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"I am glad to welcome the Frontex liaison officer to our headquarters in The Hague. With more than 250 officers from almost 50 countries and agencies, Europol hosts the biggest law enforcement network in Europe. Liaison officers meet and network daily under one roof; they build strong international working relationships, coordinate operational cooperation, and securely share criminal information and best practices," added Europol Executive Director Catherine de Bolle.

The first liaison officers will start working in Warsaw and in The Hague later this year.

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Frontex 21-01-18:

Frontex to expand cooperation with Operation IRINI till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI have agreed last Friday to expand their cooperation to address challenges and threats to EU security in the Central Mediterranean region.

Under a new working arrangement, Frontex will be supporting Operation IRINI with information gathered as part of the agency's risk analysis activities, such as tracking vessels of interests on the high seas, as well as data from its aerial surveillance in the Central Mediterranean. The agreement also foresees the exchange of experts. Currently, an EUNAVFOR MED expert is based at the Warsaw headquarters of Frontex to support information exchange and cooperation in search and rescue operations.

"Operation IRINI is a as a valuable operational partner for us. Frontex will provide information that will help tackle security challenges in the Central Mediterranean. We also work together to help save lives at sea," said Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"I am happy to sign the agreement with Frontex in order to strengthen our common action in order to ensure the security of EU borders and stem illicit traffic in the Mediterranean Sea," said Admiral Fabio Agostini, IRINI Operation Commander, during the virtual ceremony.

The working arrangement was signed during a virtual ceremony by Frontex's Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri and Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini, the Commander of Operation IRINI and attended by Director-General for Migration and Home Affairs Monique Pariat.

EUNAVFOR MED Operation IRINI is tasked with the implementation of the United Nation Security Council Resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210111:

EU-kommissionen 20-12-17:

An extraordinary meeting of the Frontex Management Board on 9 December 2020 till sidans topp

A second extraordinary meeting of the Management Board of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) took place at the request of the Commission on 9 December 2020. The meeting aimed, in particular, to consider the written replies provided by the Executive Director to the questions raised by several members of the Board and, more generally, to monitor the progress of the internal enquiry into the allegations of pushbacks of migrants in the Aegean Sea recently reported in the media and a number of fundamental rights related points that was launched at the last ordinary meeting of the Management Board (25 and 26 November), following the conclusions of the Chair of the Management Board of 10 November 2020.

The second extraordinary meeting was, on this point, attended by the Spokesperson of the Board's newly established Working Group on fundamental rights and legal and operational aspects of Frontex operations, by a representative of the Fundamental Rights Agency and an expert from the Secretariat to the European Parliament's LIBE Committee. The mandate of the Working Group was established at the last ordinary meeting of the Management Board and includes, in a first step, the verification and establishment of the facts and, in a second step, the formulation of recommendations.

The Working Group will continue its work, including over the holiday period, and deliver a first report to the Management Board on the push-back allegations for its meeting on 21 January 2021.

The Commission (represented by Director-General Monique Pariat and Director Matthias Oel of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs) once again stressed the need to carry out a rapid but thorough enquiry into the allegations and reports, with a view to establishing the facts and to maintaining the reputation and operational capacity of the Agency in line with its founding Regulation and applicable legal framework.

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EU-kommissionen 20-11-27: Statement of the Chairperson of the Frontex Management Board from its 82nd meeting 25-26 November 2020 (Extern länk)

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AYS Special 20-12-26:

Frontex and Human Rights - How did we arrive here? Part 3 (2020-Present) till sidans topp

Working on an article about Frontex is not an easy task. Information and allegations about the agency are piling up on a daily basis. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of Frontex's increasing role in EU border management - with no accountability or respect for fundamental rights in its operation.

This is the third and last part of the Frontex timeline, from the beginning of 2020 to the present day, and starts with the most recent entry. We will keep this updated, as more information about Frontex comes up

2020

Budget: ¤420.6m (approved in August 2019)

Staff: 1000 (estimate in 2020-2022 programming document)

Frontex own's standing corps, as provided by the 2019 Regulation: as of September 30, a total of 433 people have been recruited and are undertaking a six-month training. The first 265 recruits should finish training in December 2020.

Image for post

December 22: A new article by Der Spiegel shows the reluctance of German Interior Minister Seehofer to provide detailed information regarding the pushback off Samos island witnessed by a German federal police vessel on August 10, despite an internal document of the ministry proving that he had full knowledge of the events of that day.

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Arkiveringsdatum 201218:

FRA 20-12-08:

Fundamental rights challenges at borders till sidans topp

Today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) publishes a report on fundamental rights issues at external land borders. The report looks at the main challenges of border management and puts forward proposals for actions to improve the current situation. The European Parliament requested FRA to prepare this report in January 2020. With the Coronavirus pandemic, the report could only be issued now.

FRA's report 'Migration: Fundamental rights issues at land borders' first describes the applicable EU law governing border controls. It then clarifies how EU countries' duty to protect their borders can affect fundamental rights.

It reviews different aspects of border management, such as border surveillance, preventing irregular border crossings, and checks at border crossing points. It also illustrates the impact. This ranges from people dying at borders to allegations of pushbacks or the use of excessive force.

To ensure full respect for fundamental rights at the EU external borders, FRA suggests:

+ enhancing the fundamental rights component of existing oversight mechanisms, such as the Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism;

+ supporting border guards in their daily work through practical guidance, tools and training;

+ fully embracing a victim-focused approach, and mainstreaming child and gender aspects, when combating organised crime at external land borders;

+ increasing the transparency and effectiveness of investigations into pushbacks and ill-treatment allegations at external land borders;

+ establishing independent and effective fundamental rights monitoring mechanisms at borders.

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Arkiveringsdatum 201207:

Frontex 20-11-26:

Frontex welcomes establishment of Management Board Working Group till sidans topp

The Executive Director of Frontex welcomed the establishment of a Management Board Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal and Operational Aspects of Operations.

Frontex has proposed to update the reporting mechanism for serious incidents to assure that no potential violation of fundamental rights within the agency's operational activities goes unreported.

"We have now completed two important stages of looking into allegations of so-called pushbacks in the Eastern Mediterranean by conducting our own internal inquiry and replying to further questions from the Management Board," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"The working group will review the implementation of the existing Serious Incident Reporting mechanism and discuss possible operational responses to situations related to 'hybrid threats' to Member States' national security at the external borders, wherever we are physically present and have an operational footprint," he added.

In addition, the working group will help to clarify the interpretation of the legal framework under which maritime operations coordinated by Frontex are performed, also in the context of growing hybrid threats.

Below please find the statement by the Chairperson of the Frontex Management Board

Statement of the Chairperson of the Frontex Management Board from its 82nd meeting

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Statewatch 20-11-17: Will a Management Board "sub-group" find the truth about pushbacks? (Extern länk)

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AYS Special 20-12- 06:

Frontex and human rights - How did we arrive here? PART 1 (2004-2016) till sidans topp

This is the first part of the Frontex timeline, from the establishment of the agency to the end of 2016, and starts with the most recent entry.

2016

Personnel: 355 - Budget: ¤251m

General: In 2016 ECCHR (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, ECCHR) filed an application to Frontex to request information regarding Joint Operation HERA 2012-2015. The response of the agency was to provide mostly censored documents. Particularly, as reported by Wriedt and Reinhardt of ECCHR:

Frontex's approach to transparency and accountability is evinced again in section 12.10 of the Handbook to the Operational Plan entitled "List of potential fundamental rights violations within Frontex activities". The whole section (including the headline) is completely redacted and could only be uncovered because the index lists the section. The argument that the publication of this section would affect public security seems particularly inappropriate in the context of human rights violations.

December 13: Frontex is conducting training for 62 Libyan Coast Guard and Navy officers aboard San Giorgio, vessel participating in EUNAVFOR MED.

December 7: Starting today, the Rapid Intervention Pools are operational. Frontex/EBCG will be able to deploy as many as 1,500 border guards at short notice to assist member states at their EU's external borders.

October 6: At the Kapitan Adreevo checkpoint at the Bulgarian/Turkish border, Frontex officially becomes the European Border and Coast Guard.

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AYS Special 20-12-20: Frontex and Human Rights - How did we arrive here? PART 2 (2017-2019) (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201111:

Bellingcat 20-10-23:

Frontex at Fault: European border force complicit in 'illegal' pushbacks till sidans topp

Vessels from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, have been complicit in maritime "pushback" operations to drive away refugees and migrants attempting to enter the European Union via Greek waters, a joint investigation by Bellingcat, Lighthouse Reports, Der Spiegel, ARD and TV Asahi has found.

Open source data suggests Frontex assets were actively involved in one pushback incident at the Greek-Turkish maritime border in the Aegean Sea, were present at another and have been in the vicinity of four more since March.

Although Frontex assets were not at the immediate scene of those latter four incidents, the signature of a pushback is distinctive, and would likely have been visible on radar, with visual tools common on such vessels or to the naked eye.

The Greek Coast Guard (HCG) has long been accused of illegal pushbacks.

These are described by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), a legal and educational non-profit, as incidents where refugees and migrants are forced back over a border without consideration of individual circumstances and without any possibility to apply for asylum or to put forward arguments against the measures taken.

In the Aegean Sea, pushbacks generally occur in two ways. The first type is the most common: Dinghies travelling from Turkey to Greece are blocked from landing on Greek soil by the HCG. This could mean either physically blocking the dinghy until it runs out of fuel, or disabling the engine. After the engine no longer works the dinghy can then either be pushed back into Turkish territorial water with waves, or towed if the wind is not favourable.

The second type of pushback is employed when people have managed to land on Greek soil. In this case they are detained, placed in a liferaft with no means of propulsion, towed into the middle of the Aegean Sea and then abandoned.

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Frontex 20-10-27: Frontex launches internal inquiry into incidents recently reported by media (Extern länk)

Statewatch News 20-11-05: Pullback to Turkey organised by Greek official on German boat as part of Frontex operation (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201023:

Statewatch 20-10-01:

Advice of Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights still falls on deaf ears till sidans topp

The European Border and Coast Guard Agency's Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights has produced its annual report for 2019, and a number of familiar concerns are again present. The Forum was set up eight years ago to provide Frontex with independent advice on fundamental rights.

A regular issue raised in the Forum's annual reports is "the absence of an effective monitoring system to prevent and address potential fundamental rights violations in the Agency's activities." A related concern that rings particularly loudly in this report is the agency's failure to follow up on its obligation to suspend, terminate or not launch activities which could lead to violations of rights or international protection - in particular in relation to cooperation with the Hungarian authorities (see below).

The Consultative Forum notes that it was not asked for advice in the development of the Frontex European Integrated Border Management (EIBM) Strategy, nor on the development of Frontex training activities and courses during 2019. A number of requests for information made by the Forum were refused, such as an attempt to obtain monthly reports from Frontex liaison officers in non-EU countries. A request for information made by the Consultative Forum in February 2019 for information regarding Frontex's search and rescue capacity is still pending.

The Forum commissioned an external review of its own effectiveness in 2019 which concluded, inter alia, that the agency should grant the Consultative Forum more timely and effective access to information.

Returns

25 recommendations were presented to the management board and executive director in July 2019, covering the management of forced returns, return operations, and monitoring of forced returns.

These include:

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Frontex 20-10-02: Frontex Consultative Forum publishes annual report (Extern länk)

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Frontex 20-10-13:

Frontex responds to Amnesty International organisation's report till sidans topp

Today, Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri sent a letter to Amnesty International in response to the organisation's report and questions submitted to Frontex.

In his letter, Frontex's Director explained the role of the agency in providing assistance with search and rescue activities and clarified how the agency's multipurpose aerial surveillance works.

Rescuing people in distress at sea remains Frontex top priority and a part of every surveillance activity of Frontex. Thanks to its surveillance activities, Frontex helped in the rescue of 19.651 people in 350 Search and Rescue actions in the Central Mediterranean since 2017.

Ladda ner brevet här (Extern länk)

Amnestyrapporterna har anmälts i tidigare Asylnytt. Här direktlänkar:

Amnesty 20-09-07: Waves of impunity. Malta's human rights violations and Europe's responsibilities in the central Mediterranean (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 20-09-28: 'Between life and death' Refugees and migrants trapped in Libya's cycle of abuse (Extern länk)

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Statewatch yyy 20-10-20:

Greece draws up requirements for member state militaries' role in border control till sidans topp

The Greek military's 'Multinational Peace Support Operations Training Center' has prepared an analysis of training requirements for the military's role in integrated border management operations. Although the report acknowledges that border control is primarily a civilian task, it says that more training should be given to armed forces in the EU, and that the EU should adopt a 'Common Core Curriculum' on the issue.

The document was approved by the European External Action Service at the end of May and forwarded to the Council for discussion by the EU Military Committee (EUMC).

The EUMC was invited to approve the 'Common Core Curriculum' proposed in the report - the contents of which are set out below, and which is included in full in the document itself - so that it become part of the training requirements for all EU member state militaries. It is unclear whether the document has been approved or not.

One of the conclusions says that EU member states' militaries could learn from those member states that have been "confronted with the problem of mass migration which raised security issues many times so far."

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Arkiveringsdatum 201002:

Frontex 20-09-23:

50 people smugglers arrested in international operation led by Frontex till sidans topp

From 11 to 21 September, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, together with Austria led an international operation against serious and organised cross-border crime in Central and South Eastern Europe.

The operation, known as Joint Action Day (JAD) Danube 5, was the first joint action day organised by Frontex under COVID-19 conditions and the first such international operation this year. It proves that the agency is able to provide continuous operational support to EU Member States even in the most challenging situations.

JAD Danube 5 focused on combatting the smuggling of migrants, fighting trafficking in human beings and document fraud. A joint operational office was set up in Vienna to support the exchange of information among the participants and lead the investigations into people smuggling and trafficking in human beings as a result of the operation. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania also took part in the action. Europol and Interpol also supported the operation.

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Frontex / Statewatch 20-09-25:

Frontex: Report on cooperation with third countries in 2019 till sidans topp

The report gives an overview of Frontex's engagement with non-EU states during 2019 on issues such as surveillance, risk analysis and training. It was circulated to the European Commission, Council of the EU and European Parliament in June 2019.

International cooperation

"To use the momentum and to bring the Western Balkan authorities ever closer to the European border and coast guard family, in June the Agency for the first time organised a high-level meeting between the Frontex Management Board and the Chiefs of Western Balkan border authorities. This meeting was an opportunity for both sides to exchange views on common challenges, such as fights against cross-border crime and illegal immigration, and explore areas for even closer cooperation, particularly in view of the future implementation of the Status Agreements."

"Strengthening the dialogue with partners in North and West Africa is among the core priorities of the Agency's international cooperation. In addition to the implementation of two capacity building projects... a number of familiarisation visits and high-level exchanges were held in 2019. Over the course of the year, Frontex Executive Director visited Morocco and Senegal."

"The Agency continued to further develop its network of Frontex Liaison Officers (FLO) in third countries, most notably, with the preparation of two new deployments - to Senegal and to the Western Balkans region... the FLO [in Albania] will reinforce the FLO based in Belgrade and will cover Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia.

The FLOs to Turkey, Niger and the Western Balkans (main seat in Serbia) consolidated their presence in their respective countries or regions in support of the overall cooperation with the Agency, and contributed to the European Immigration Liaison Officers Network in their respective host country or region."

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Statewatch 20-09-25:

No human rights monitoring for 20% of Frontex's deportation flights in 2019 till sidans topp

There were no human rights monitors present on 20% of the deportation charter flights coordinated by Frontex in 2019, according to an agency report being published today by Statewatch.

The report, which gives an overview of Frontex's cooperation with non-EU states ("third countries"), says that:

"In 2019, 80% of all Frontex-coordinated return operations by charter flights had at least one monitor on board, which is a 13% increase compared to 2018."

Put the other way round, this means that one-fifth of all charter flights - that is, flights organised specifically for the purposes of deportation, that take place out of the public eye - had no human rights monitor present.

According to the report, almost 11,000 people were deported on 330 Frontex-coordinated charter flights in 2019, which would mean that some 66 flights took place without a monitor on board.

In total, says the report, Frontex assisted with the removal of almost 16,000 people from EU territory in 2019, through charter flights and other means. You can find an overview of the report here.

The recent Statewatch publication Deportation Union explains in detail the different types of deportation operation coordinated and financed by Frontex, and analyses the situation with regard to monitoring forced removals.

It points out that:

"The deployment of monitors is key to ensuring that individuals are not physically abused or otherwise mistreated during deportation operations. An increase in the use of deportation charter flights by states in the 1990s and 2000s led to corresponding concerns from jurists, scholars, journalists and NGOs that abuses could take place unseen by the outside world."

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Arkiveringsdatum 200913:

Statewatch 20-09-09:

Study on the political economy of border control measures till sidans topp

An in-depth study conducted as part of an EU-funded research project picks apart the "political economy of entry governance" in the EU - in short, who is allowed to enter the EU and who is not. The report is "founded on the outlook that any careful analysis of EU entry governance needs to take into account the political economy of border control practices, and how they can be shaped by concerns other than about migration, and by other actors than the public bodies and institutions of the EU or its Member States."

The following text is the introduction to the report.

The entry of migrants has been the focus of public, political and technological discussions and initiatives within the EU. Underpinning entry to the EU level are practices of enforcement and infrastructures of border control. Some are physical, like border guards, others, such as biometric databases and maritime surveillance systems are digital and technological. At the level of public and political discourse, border technologies and new security systems are often portrayed as a panacea to deal with irregular border crossing and political discussions about immigration in European societies. However, the assumption that border control systems constitute neutral technological fixes disregards not just that they constitute interventions against inherently political problems, but also that the systems themselves are produced through political and economic processes. Consequently, this deliverable is founded on the outlook that any careful analysis of EU entry governance needs to take into account the political economy of border control practices, and how they can be shaped by concerns other than about migration, and by other actors than the public bodies and institutions of the EU or its Member States.

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Frontex 20-09-11:

Frontex to launch maritime surveillance by aerostat pilot project till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is planning to launch a pilot project for maritime surveillance by aerostat later this year. Earlier tests carried out in Greece in cooperation with the Hellenic Coast Guard proved that aerostats can be successfully used to support EU Member States in maritime border surveillance for law enforcement purposes.

The aim of the pilot will be to assess the capacity and cost efficiency of aerostat platforms for maritime surveillance, as well as to modify and optimise the equipment used based on the lessons learnt from last year's tests. The activity will also help define optimal platform dimensions, payload and capacities for maritime surveillance.

Please monitor our website for upcoming announcements on the launch of the procurement procedure.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200831:

Frontex 20-08-05:

Entry-Exit System pilot project at land borders till sidans topp

The European Union is moving forward with implementing various "smart borders" solutions that will make it easier for genuine travellers to cross Europe's borders while protecting the security of hundreds of millions of Europeans.

Among these is the Entry-Exit System (EES), which will register the entry and departure data of non-EU nationals crossing the external borders of EU Member States. The system will significantly impact the work of border guards and the national authorities, who need to be prepared for important changes at border crossing points.

For this reason Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, will soon be testing various EES technological solutions.

For this project, Frontex is looking for industry solutions for the testing and implementation of EES-compliant equipment, including complete technological solutions, hardware and software, development and integration services with national systems.

During the test, our agency will be able to assess the impact of the system at busy border crossing points and the length of time necessary to capture the required data. Upon its completion, we will be able to advise EU countries on the most appropriate technology to be used.

The procurement procedure will be launched in the second half of this year, with project implementation to follow. Please monitor our website for further announcements.

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Frontex 20-08-11: Frontex helping to bring innovation to future border control (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200805:

EU-parlamentet / Statewatch 20-07-20:

Borders, budgets and beyond: LIBE report sheds light on Frontex's priorities till sidans topp

In February, three MEPs visited the Warsaw headquarters of Frontex, the EU's border agency, to assess implementation of its new mandate, which entered into force in December last year. A report on their mission presents a snapshot of Frontex's current operations, work on deportations and relations with non-EU states, research activities and fundamental rights issues.

The delegation was made up of MEPs that sit on the European Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE), from three different political groups: the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), and the liberal Renew Europe group.

Of very high relevance to operations at sea and possible search and rescue activities, especially given recent pressure from Statewatch and other organisations across the world to prevent refoulements to Libya, Frontex's own Fundamental Rights Office reported to the LIBE MEPs that they "advised against the disembarkation of rescued persons in third countries".

The "game changer" of the agency's standing corps of officers, currently being recruited, is also discussed, with hope that it will provide Frontex with an opportunity to improve fundamental rights standards and address the agency's current gender imbalance. However, according to the mission report, "more resources would be needed to properly design and implement the training on fundamental rights". The agency is also of the view that despite measures to encourage women to apply, "gender balance will ... not be possible to achieve".

(...)

Läs mer och hämta rapporten (Extern länk)

Se även:

Lena Karamanidou, Bernd Kasparek, Respond 20-07-31: Fundamental Rights, Accountability and Transparency: The Case of Frontex (Extern länk)

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Statewatch 20-08-03:

EU to provide ¤130 million for detention centres on Aegean islands till sidans topp

Three new detention centres will be constructed with EU funds on the Aegean islands of Samos, Leros and Kos.

"The disbursement of 130 million euros for the construction of three controlled-access refugee and migrant facilities at the islands of Samos, Leros and Kos has been approved by the European Commission's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), it was reported on Tuesday.

In a letter to the Migration Ministry, the European Commission said 'it welcomes the ministry's efforts to address the migration crisis in Greece and fully recognizes the urgent need for this financial support.'"

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Arkiveringsdatum 200624:

Rådet 20-05-26:

Gränsförvaltning: EU ingår avtal med Montenegro och Serbien om Frontex-samarbete till sidans topp

Rådet antog i dag två beslut om att ingå avtal med Montenegro och Serbien om gränsförvaltningssamarbete mellan dessa länder och Europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningsbyrån (Frontex).

Ett nära samarbete med våra partner på västra Balkan är avgörande om vi ska kunna ta itu med de gemensamma utmaningar som vi står inför. De avtal som i dag ingås om gränsförvaltningssamarbete med Montenegro och Serbien är en viktig del av vår övergripande strategi för gränsförvaltning.

Davor Bo?inovi?, Kroatiens vice premiärminister och inrikesminister

Genom avtalen kan Frontex hjälpa Montenegro och Serbien med gränsförvaltning och gemensamma insatser och placera ut enheter i de regioner i dessa länder som gränsar till EU, om Serbien och Montenegro godkänner detta.

Syftet med verksamheten är att bekämpa olaglig invandring, i synnerhet plötsliga förändringar i migrationsströmmarna, och gränsöverskridande brottslighet, och kan innefatta ökat tekniskt och operativt bistånd vid gränsen.

Ett stärkt samarbete mellan prioriterade länder utanför EU och Frontex kommer att bidra till hanteringen av olaglig invandring och ytterligare förbättra säkerheten vid EU:s yttre gränser.

Vad händer nu

Montenegro har meddelat att landet ingår avtalet. Det kommer att träda i kraft den 1 juli.

Serbiens förfarande för ingående av avtalet har ännu inte slutförts. Så snart det sker träder det avtalet i kraft.

Bakgrund

Ett första avtal om samarbete kring gränsförvaltning ingicks med Albanien 2019. Efter det inledde Frontex den första gemensamma insatsen någonsin i ett grannland utanför EU. Detta skedde i Albanien den 22 maj 2019.

(...)

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FRA yyy 20-06-10:

FRA and Frontex to work together on developing fundamental rights monitors till sidans topp

Today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) signed an agreement on developing Frontex's fundamental rights monitors. Under this agreement, FRA will provide advice and expertise to help set up effective fundamental rights monitoring during Frontex's operations at EU borders.

"It is essential that the EU, its Member States and agencies do their utmost to protect people's fundamental rights. Fundamental rights monitoring of operations at the land and sea borders can help ensure that rights violations do not occur. The fundamental rights monitors are an important preventive tool and FRA will provide its fundamental rights expertise to help establish them. The vacancy notices should be published as soon as possible so the monitors can be deployed", said FRA's director Michael O'Flaherty.

Under this agreement, the Fundamental Rights Agency will help develop a comprehensive manual for the future Fundamental Rights Monitors.

To guarantee independence, the monitors should work under the overall supervision of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) and be able to monitor all Frontex activities.

FRA and Frontex have already developed the terms of reference of the future monitors, after thoroughly assessing the qualifications needed for their profile. Frontex should publish the vacancy notices as soon as possible.

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Alarmphone 20-06-17:

Report: Aerial collaboration between the EU and Libya facilitates mass interceptions till sidans topp

Alliance of NGOs and activists release an exclusive report documenting how aerial collaboration between the EU and Libya facilitates mass interceptions of migrants in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

Alarm Phone, borderline-europe, Mediterranea and Sea-Watch have directly witnessed and documented illegal push- and pull-backs to Libya coordinated by European authorities, such as Frontex and EUNAVFOR Med, and implemented by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard, an EU-funded and trained group of militias with a track record of blatant human rights violations and collaboration with people smugglers.

Today, we are releasing our report "Remote control: the EU-Libya collaboration in mass interceptions of migrants in the Central Mediterranean" that outlines and describes actions taken by EU aerial surveillance units in mass interceptions off the coast of Libya. The report contains the reconstruction of three specific search and rescue (SAR) events which ended in interceptions and returns to Libya by the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. It provides the legal background of the violations incurred and an analysis of how the collaboration between the EU and the so-called Libyan Coast Guard works operationally, with a focus on aerial coordination. The reconstructions are based on first-hand observations at sea, and include overheard radio communications between different actors, such as European authorities and their Libyan proxies as well as calls for help from people in distress at sea.

The EU is responsible for remote controlling push-backs to Libya through aerial surveillance and coordination.

(...)

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Ladda ned rapporten (Extern länk)

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Frontex 20-06-17:

Frontex welcomes first standing corps recruits till sidans topp

Yesterday Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, welcomed 265 recruits who begin a six-month training programme to become the first officers of the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps.

"I am proud to welcome our new colleagues at Frontex. But they are much more than new staff. They are on their way to becoming the first officers of the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps, the pioneers of the first uniformed law enforcement service of the European Union," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

Following a brief online induction, the first recruits will begin a six-month basic training programme. Because of travel and other restrictions related to the covid pandemic, the first part of the training will take place online, followed-up by a second part in Member States Training Centres. This will ensure that the officers have the necessary skills to work together in any particular operational area, fully complying with the applicable EU law and ethical standards.

The new Frontex border and coast guard officers are expected to complete their training in December and be deployed at Europe's external borders starting in January 2021.

Frontex received 7 500 applications from candidates interested in becoming its border guards. It is continuing the selection procedure for other candidates who may also be offered a position in the standing corps and start their six-month training later this year after completing all the stages of the recruitment process, which includes an interview, English exam and physical aptitude test.

Läs mer (Extern länk)

Statewatch Analysis 20-05-26: Guns, guards and guidelines: reinforcement of Frontex runs into problems (Extern länk)

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Statewatch 20-06-19:

Frontex splashes out: millions of euros for new technology and equipment till sidans topp

The approval of the new Frontex Regulation in November 2019 implied an increase of competences, budget and capabilities for the EU's border agency, which is now equipping itself with increased means to monitor events and developments at the borders and beyond, as well as renewing its IT systems to improve the management of the reams of data to which it will have access.

In 2020 Frontex's budget grew to ¤420.6 million, an increase of over 34% compared to 2019. The European Commission has proposed that in the next EU budget (formally known as the Multiannual Financial Framework or MFF, covering 2021-27) ¤11 billion will be made available to the agency, although legal negotiations are ongoing and have hit significant stumbling blocks due to Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and political disagreements.

Nevertheless, the increase for this year has clearly provided a number of opportunities for Frontex. For instance, it has already agreed contracts worth ¤28 million for the acquisition of dozens of vehicles equipped with thermal and day cameras, surveillance radar and sensors.

According to the contract for the provision of Mobile Surveillance Systems, these new tools will be used "for detection, identification and recognising of objects of interest e.g. human beings and/or groups of people, vehicles moving across the border (land and sea), as well as vessels sailing within the coastal areas, and other objects identified as objects of interest".

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200523:

EU-parlamentet 20-04-27:

Stop cooperation with and funding to the Libyan coastguard, MEPs ask till sidans topp

The EU should stop channeling funds to Libya to manage migration and to train its coastguard, as the violation of human rights of migrants and asylum-seekers continues.

In a debate in the Civil Liberties Committee with representatives of the Commission, Frontex, UNHCR, the Council of Europe and NGOs, a majority of MEPs insisted that Libya is not a "safe country" for disembarkation of people rescued at sea and demanded that the cooperation with the Libyan coastguard stops.

Most of the speakers acknowledged the challenges faced by front line countries receiving most of the migrants and asylum-seekers fleeing Libya, namely Italy and Malta, and underlined that the European common asylum system needs to be reshuffled, with a focus on solidarity among member states and respect of international legislation. Others made clear that member states are entitled to protect their borders, especially in the middle of a health crisis such as the current one. Some instead criticised the closure of ports due to the COVID-19 pandemic and stressed that letting people drown cannot be a solution.

Background

According to UNHCR, the human rights situation inside Libya is extremely complicated, in the context of intensifying combat, the coronavirus crisis and the high number of economic migrants, refugees and internally displaced people needing material and humanitarian assistance. Around 1,500 people remain in detention centers in appalling conditions, arbitrary detentions continue to take place and resettlement schemes of the most vulnerable people to neighbouring countries have been suspended.

Since the beginning of the year, 3,277 persons have arrived in Italy by sea and 1,135 in Malta. On 1 April, the EU naval Operation Irini succeeded Operation Sophia, with a focus on enforcing the arms embargo to Libya, in an attempt to contribute to the pacification of the country.

Pressmeddelandet med länk till webb-debatten (Extern länk)

NGOs Joint Statement, Human Rights Watch 20-04-28: Time to review and remedy cooperation policies facilitating abuse in Libya (Extern länk)

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EU-parlamentet 20-05-13:

The European Parliament approve agreement allowing Frontex operations in Serbia till sidans topp

EU-Serbia status agreement on actions carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Serbia

EU-Serbia status agreement on actions carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Serbia

The European Parliament,

- having regard to the draft Council decision (15581/2018),

- having regard to the draft Status Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Serbia on actions carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in the Republic of Serbia (15579/2018),

- having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 77(2), points (b) and (d), Article 79(2), point (c), and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C9 0180/2019),

- having regard to Rule 105(1) and (4) and Rule 114(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

- having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A9-0019/2020),

1. Gives its consent to the conclusion of the agreement;

2. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Serbia.

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Se även:

EU-Montenegro status agreement on actions carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Montenegro (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200410:

Statewatch 20-03-30:

MEPs, migration policy experts call for urgent action to uphold refugee rights till sidans topp

Over 100 MEPs from four political groups in the European Parliament have called on the European Commission to take action so that "fundamental rights and the right to asylum" are upheld in Greece. Their calls have been echoed by dozens of migration policy experts working on EU-funded projects.

The MEPs' letter, sent on 25 March and signed by MEPs from the Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL, Socialists & Democrats and Renew Europe groups, highlights "serious concerns regarding the use of COVID 19 epidemic to justify denial of the right to seek international protection at our borders, detention of asylum-seekers and forced returns to situations of danger."

The letter from EU-funded researchers, who have worked on numerous collaborative research projects examining how to improve EU migration policy, expresses "paramount concern regarding the violent course of action that is taken by the EU and individual member states in these testing times," and notes that the EU's actions are "doubly disturbing" - firstly, because expert advice and knowledge has been totally disregarded; and secondly, because the policies being promoted and implemented on the ground "fail to meet minimal human rights standards".

The MEPs also urge the Commission "to act regarding the serious deficiencies that have started in Greece before the COVID-19 outbreak and keep deteriorating," in particular with regard to the Greek government's decision to suspend access to the asylum procedure for a month.

"This is not to be understood as a "monthly delay" in the possibility to lodge an application but, literally, as banning access to all asylum procedures for the people who enter the country irregularly in seek of international protection, whilst there are no legal entry possibilities provided," says the letter.

(...)

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Frontex 20-04-03:

Member States continue to support Frontex operations in Greece till sidans topp

Most of the EU Member States and Schengen-Associated Countries taking part in Frontex operations in Greece have decided to extend their deployment, as requested by the Agency. This support highlights the European assistance for Greece at its land and sea borders, despite the difficulties caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Just yesterday, 116 German and 19 Danish officers were transported to and from Greece as part of a rotation in Frontex sea and land operations in Greece. The new officers will assist the Greek authorities with border control. Their charter flights were organised by Germany and co-financed by Frontex.

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, currently deploys 624 officers along the Greek land and maritime borders.

The Agency is taking all necessary steps to protect the staff deployed in its operations by providing the necessary protective gear.

"In these difficult times, we all think of the importance of essential personnel in our countries. But we must not forget about those who are still protecting Europe's external borders. Frontex deploys in Greece officers from 21 EU Member and Schengen Associated Countries who work far away from their homes and families. We do our utmost to make their work as safe as possible," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

Frontex has opened an ad-hoc logistics facility in Greece to provide a safe and secure storage facility for Frontex to hold Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for use in Greece, Bulgaria and the Western Balkans. Frontex, which is in the process of launching the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps, is also in discussions to create a long-term logistics hub to support operations in the region.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200324:

EU:s ministerråd för utrikes frågor 20-03-06:

Uttalande angående krisen i Idlib och situationen vid EU:s yttre gränser med Turkiet. till sidans topp

EU är medvetet om den ökade migrationsbördan och de ökade risker som Turkiet står inför på sitt territorium och de betydande ansträngningar som landet har gjort i och med att det tagit emot 3,7 miljoner migranter och flyktingar, men upprepar sin djupa oro över situationen vid den grekisk-turkiska gränsen och motsätter sig bestämt att Turkiet använder migrationstrycket för politiska syften. Denna situation vid EU:s yttre gränser är oacceptabel. EU och dess medlemsstater förblir fast beslutna att effektivt skydda EU:s yttre gränser. Olagliga gränspassager kommer inte att tolereras. I detta avseende kommer EU och dess medlemsstater i enlighet med EU-rätten och internationell rätt att vidta alla nödvändiga åtgärder. Migranter bör inte uppmuntras att försöka att olagligen ta sig över gränserna land- eller sjövägen. Rådet uppmanar den turkiska regeringen och alla aktörer och organisationer på fältet att förmedla detta budskap vidare och motverka spridningen av falsk information.

EU bekräftar också sin fulla solidaritet med Grekland, som står inför en aldrig tidigare skådad situation, samt med Bulgarien, Cypern och andra medlemsstater som kan vara drabbade på liknande sätt, inbegripet när det gäller insatser för att förvalta EU:s yttre gränser. Rådet välkomnar det praktiska stöd som kommissionen tillkännagav den 4 mars 2020. Man kommer också att fortsätta att ha ett nära samarbete med partnerna på västra Balkan i detta avseende.

Rådet erinrar om att det förväntar sig att Turkiet fullt ut genomför bestämmelserna i 2016 års gemensamma uttalande med avseende på alla medlemsstater. Detta uttalande leder till påtagliga resultat, bland annat genom att stödja Turkiets betydande ansträngningar för att ta emot migranter och flyktingar. Såväl EU som Turkiet tjänar på att detta samarbete och engagemang fortsätter.

(...)

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EU-parlamentet 20-03-10:

Grek-turkiska gränsen: ledamöterna avfärdar Turkiets påtryckningar till sidans topp

EU måste hjälpa Grekland att hantera situationen vid landets gräns mot Turkiet, men samtidigt se till att de som har rätt till asyl kan ansöka om det, anser ledamöterna.

Under tisdagens plenardebatt med Ylva Johansson, EU:s kommissionär med ansvar för inrikes frågor, och representanter för det kroatiska ordförandeskapet kritiserade en majoritet av ledamöterna i kammaren Turkiets president Erdogan för att använda människors lidande i politiska syften. Många talare underströk också vikten av att den migrationskris som ägde rum 2015 inte får upprepas och insisterade på att EU måste uppdatera unionens gemensamma asylregler.

Vissa av de politiska gruppernas ledare efterfrågade en revidering av EU:s rådande avtal med Turkiet, som slöts 2016 för att minska antalet flyktingar och migranter som försöker ta sig till Europa, i utbyte mot finansiellt stöd till Turkiet. Andra uttryckte sin skarpa oro över den försämrade humanitära situationen, både vid den grek-turkiska gränsen och på de grekiska öarna, där tusentals asylsökare, inklusive många ensamkommande flyktingbarn, för närvarande är strandsatta.

Vikten av att respektera Genèvekonventionen och erbjuda skydd till flyktingar, anklagelserna om polisvåld riktat mot människor som den senaste tiden försökt ta sig över den grek-turkiska gränsen och risken för att jihadister nu kan försöka ta sig tillbaka till EU:s territorium togs också upp under debatten.

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Amnesty International 20-03-09: EU Leaders meeting with Erdogan must share responsibility (Extern länk)

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Riksdagen 20-03-13:

EU-nämndens extra samråd inför rådets möte den 13 mars: till sidans topp

/Utdrag:/

Anf. 2 Statssekreterare LARS WESTBRATT:

Som ni ser har ordförandeskapet lagt till en ny dagordningspunkt om migration på RIF-rådets dagordning. Det är en uppföljning från förra veckans extrainsatta rådsmöte som man hade. Som ni också känner till antogs vid förra veckans möte ett gemensamt uttalande.

Av det uttalandet framgår bland annat att rådet ska visa solidaritet med Grekland, Bulgarien och Cypern. Turkiet ska fullt ut genomföra EU-Turkiet-uttalandet. Illegala gränspassager ska inte tolereras. Nödvändiga åtgärder som EU och EU:s medlemsstater företar ska stå i överensstämmelse med både EU-rätt och internationell rätt samt att medlemsstaterna och EU-byråerna är beredda att utöka sitt stöd.

Vid dagens rådsmöte ska som sagt inga beslut fattas. Däremot kan vi förvänta oss att Ylva Johansson kommer att berätta om sina intryck från besöket i Grekland som hon hade i veckan. Kommissionen förväntas också ge en uppdatering när det gäller handlingsplanen till Grekland som presenterades i samband med det extrainsatta RIF-rådet. Troligen kommer också Grekland att kunna ge en uppdaterad lägesbild av hur läget ser ut.

Som ni också känner till träffade Europeiska rådets ordförande Michel, kommissionens ordförande von der Leyen och president Erdogan i måndags. Ett konkret resultat av det mötet är att EU och Turkiet ska gå igenom uttalandet från 2016 för att klargöra hur båda sidorna ser på uttalandet och genomförandet av de åtaganden som man har sagt i och med uttalandet.

(...)

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Frontex 20-03-13:

Frontex launches rapid border intervention on Greek land border till sidans topp

Yesterday, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, deployed an additional 100 border guards at the Greek land border as part of a rapid border intervention requested by Greece.

"We stand here barely a week after the Greek authorities turned to Frontex to provide more officers and more equipment to help protect their borders, which are also our common EU external borders. The presence of 100 officers from all around Europe underlines the fact that the protection of the area of the European area of freedom, security and justice is a shared responsibility of all Member States and Frontex," Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said during the launch of the operation in the Greek town of Orestiada.

"This rapid intervention is an important operational milestone for Frontex, which is currently dedicated to the preparation of the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps," he added.

Expressing their solidarity with Greece, EU Member States and Schengen-Associated Countries confirmed their readiness to provide their respective contributions under the Rapid Reaction Pool of Border and Coast Guards and technical assets under the Rapid Reaction Equipment Pool complemented by additional pledges from the Technical Equipment Pool.

As part of Rapid Border Intervention Evros 2020, 100 border guard officers started their deployment yesterday at Greece's land border. They come from 22 Member States.

Member States have also committed themselves to provide technical equipment, including vessels, maritime surveillance aircraft and Thermal-Vision Vehicles, for the Frontex maritime Rapid Border Intervention Aegean 2020.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200306:

EU:s råd för rättsliga och inrikes frågor 20-03-04:

Uttalande om situationen vid EU:s yttre gränser till sidans topp

EU:s inrikesministrar samlades i dag, tillsammans med ministrarna från de Schengenassocierade länderna, till ett extra rådsmöte för att diskutera situationen vid EU:s yttre gränser med Turkiet.

I linje med de skarpa uttalanden som de fyra ordförandena för EU:s institutioner nyligen gjorde under sitt besök vid den grekisk-turkiska gränsen, uttrycker rådet sin solidaritet med Grekland, med Bulgarien och Cypern samt med andra medlemsstater som kan vara drabbade på liknande sätt, inbegripet när det gäller insatser för att förvalta EU:s yttre gränser. EU kommer också att fortsätta att ha ett nära samarbete med partnerna på västra Balkan för att hantera migrationsströmmarna.

Rådet är medvetet om den ökade migrationsbördan och de risker som Turkiet ställs inför på sitt territorium liksom de stora ansträngningar som landet har gjort i och med att man tagit emot 3,7 miljoner migranter och flyktingar, men tar samtidigt starkt avstånd från att Turkiet använder migrationstrycket för politiska syften. Denna situation vid EU:s yttre gränser är inte acceptabel. Rådet förväntar sig att Turkiet fullt ut genomför bestämmelserna i 2016 års gemensamma uttalande med avseende på alla medlemsstater. Uttalandet leder till påtagliga resultat, bland annat genom att stödja Turkiets betydande ansträngningar för att ta emot migranter och flyktingar. Såväl EU som Turkiet tjänar på att detta samarbete och engagemang fortsätter.

(...)

Hela uttalandet (Extern länk)

Mer från rådets möte den 4 mars (Extern länk)

Mer från rådets möte den 13 mars (Extern länk)

Frontex 20-03-03: Statement by the Frontex Management Board (Extern länk)

SvT Utrikes 20-03-02: "EU:s kortsiktiga plan är att backa upp Grekland" (Extern länk)

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Statewatch February 2020:

Drones for Frontex: unmanned migration control at Europe's borders till sidans topp

Analysis by Matthias Monroy

Instead of providing sea rescue capabilities in the Mediterranean, the EU is expanding air surveillance. Refugees are observed with drones developed for the military. In addition to numerous EU states, countries such as Libya could also use the information obtained.

It is not easy to obtain majorities for legislation in the European Union in the area of migration - unless it is a matter of upgrading the EU's external borders. While the reform of a common EU asylum system has been on hold for years, the European Commission, Parliament and Council agreed to reshape the border agency Frontex with unusual haste shortly before last year's parliamentary elections. A new Regulation has been in force since December 2019,1 under which Frontex intends to build up a "standing corps" of 10,000 uniformed officials by 2027. They can be deployed not just at the EU's external borders, but in 'third countries' as well.

In this way, Frontex will become a "European border police force" with powers that were previously reserved for the member states alone. The core of the new Regulation includes the procurement of the agency's own equipment. The Multiannual Financial Framework, in which the EU determines the distribution of its financial resources from 2021 until 2027, has not yet been decided. According to current plans, however, at least ¤6 billion are reserved for Frontex in the seven-year budget. The intention is for Frontex to spend a large part of the money, over ¤2 billion, on aircraft, ships and vehicles.

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ECRE 20-02-21:

Study: Outsourcing does not exempt EU from responsibility till sidans topp

The study "Places of Safety in the Mediterranean: The EU's Policy of Outsourcing Responsibility" assesses the legal implications of disembarkation of migrants and refugees in North African countries by EU state and Frontex vessels.

The study, commissioned by the EU office of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, includes an evaluation of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia as "Places of Safety" for rescued persons. Taking stock of the recent trend of outsourcing responsibility for refugees and migrants to non-EU actors, the study concludes that the EU and its Member States cannot escape international responsibility by seeking to avoid direct contact with migrants when they actively contribute to violations of the international law of the sea, international refugee law, and essential human rights guarantees.

The study stresses the obligation under international law to provide assistance to persons in distress at sea and to deliver them to a "place of safety", that is a place where the survivors' life is not under threat, where their basic needs are covered, and where they are safe from persecution and chain refoulement. It finds that Libya can under no circumstances be considered a place of safety given the volatile security situation, human rights abuses and return to detention of people intercepted at sea. Detention, torture and persistent reports of refoulement of refugees also raise concerns regarding returns to Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. Particularly for vulnerable groups these countries do not constitute "places of safety" and screening for protection needs aboard a private vessel is hardly feasible, the study points out.

(...)

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Frontex 20-03-02:

Frontex to launch rapid border intervention at Greece's external borders till sidans topp

The Executive Director of Frontex has agreed today to launch a rapid border intervention to assist Greece in dealing with the large numbers of migrants at its external borders. The Greek government officially asked Frontex last night to launch a rapid border intervention at its sea borders in the Aegean.

Rapid border interventions are designed to bring immediate assistance to an EU Member State that is under urgent and exceptional pressure at its external border, especially related to large numbers of non-EU nationals trying to enter its territory illegally.

"Given the quickly developing situation at the Greek external borders with Turkey, my decision is to accept to launch the rapid border intervention requested by Greece. It is part of the Frontex mandate to assist a Member State confronted with an exceptional situation, requesting urgent support with officers and equipment from all EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries," said Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri.

"Starting next year we will be able to rely on the first 700 officers from the European Border and Coast Guard standing corps to provide operational flexibility in case of a rapid border intervention. Today, we depend entirely on EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries for contributions to come through at this crucial time," he added.

Frontex has already increased surveillance capacity at the Greek borders and is redeploying officers from other operations to provide immediate assistance.

Frontex is now working closely with Greece to quickly finalise the operational plan for the rapid border intervention.

As soon as the plan is agreed, Frontex will ask other EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries to immediately provide border guards and other relevant staff from the rapid reaction pool, indicating the relevant profiles and numbers of officers from each.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200208:

Frontex 20-02-06:

Frontex to provide border security expertise to Commission's research projects till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, will provide its expertise in the area of border security research and innovation to assist the European Commission in supporting the development of state of the art technology for the border and coast guard community.

The collaboration between Frontex and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs will be based on Terms of Reference (ToR) that were signed yesterday by Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri and the Director General of Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs Monique Pariat.

EU-funded security research enables innovation in technologies and knowledge that is crucial for developing capabilities to address today's security challenges and to anticipate tomorrow's threats and opportunities.

Over the last 15 years, Frontex has developed expertise in the area of integrated border management research and innovation, which will allow the Agency to assist the Commission in evaluating research and innovation results to improve border security, including improved maritime border protection.

Frontex will contribute to the effective implementation of relevant parts of the Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe).The Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 for Secure Societies plans an indicative budget of EUR 118 million of EU grants for research projects under research topics in the area of "Border and External Security".

Within the framework of this ToR, Frontex, will:

+ identify research activities addressing capability gaps in the areas of surveillance, situational awareness, biometrics, cybersecurity and information availability and exchange;

+ translate these gaps into requirements for solutions to be researched;

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200107:

Statewatch 19-12-16:

Statewatch analysis: Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency till sidans topp

Monitoring "secondary movements" and "hotspots"

The EU's border agency, Frontex, now has powers to gather data on "secondary movements" and the "hotspots" within the EU. The intention is to ensure "situational awareness" and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens.

See: Monitoring "secondary movements" and "hotspots": Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency (pdf) by Chris Jones

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Arkiveringsdatum 191214:

Frontex 19-12-04:

Reinforced mandate now in force for European Border and Coast Guard Agency till sidans topp

Today, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is gaining new responsibilities and tools to more effectively support EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries in managing their external borders to provide a high level of security for all their citizens.

The new European Border and Coast Guard regulation that is coming into force today paves the way for the creation of Europe's first uniformed service. Soon, Frontex will count on 10 000 border and coast guard officers to assist national authorities with border control and migration management.

Frontex border guards will be a crucial part in the effort to better integrate the European Border and Coast Guard, which consists of national border and coast guard authorities and Frontex. Together, national authorities and Frontex will plan its future growth.

More secure external borders

Frontex will help to strengthen Europe's ability to respond at its borders by sharing of relevant information and regular risk analyses. The agency will help predict challenges facing EU countries at their borders and support national authorities to respond adequately.

Frontex maintains a European overview of border control and migration management thanks to its 24/7 monitoring of the situation at the borders and beyond.

Thanks to its annual assessments of Europe's preparedness to face challenges at its borders, and thanks to the standing corps, Frontex can propose to reinforce European countries with additional border control experts and equipment.

Well-functioning borders

(...)

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Statewatch News 19-12-04: Ministers call for renewed smuggling crackdown on "Eastern Mediterranean" route (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191129:

Centre Delas 19-11-27:

Guarding the Fortress. Frontex role in the militarisation of migratory flows in the EU till sidans topp

The new report "Guarding the Fortress: the role of Frontex in the militarization and securitization of migratory flows in the European Union" intends to study and analyze the context in which the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, is developed and implemented in the European Union, as well as its operation, mechanisms and main operations carried out. The research addresses the context that is built with respect to security policies in the EU, and specifically with regard to border and migration policy. As well as, the development of Frontex in this context.

The report analyzes the role that Frontex has in helping to build walls around the European Union, building what is called the "Europe Fortress", through maritime, area and land operations that criminalize people who have to flee their homes for force, whether from war or economic inequality. It is in this context that migratory flows are approached as a threat, so that they are approached with the same instruments as border crimes.

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EU-kommissionen 19-11-19:

EU signs agreement with Serbia on European Border and Coast Guard cooperation till sidans topp

Today, the European Union signed an agreement with Serbia on border management cooperation between Serbia and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. The agreement was signed on behalf of the EU by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship and by Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior of Finland and President of the Council and, and on behalf of the Republic of Serbia by Neboj?a Stefanovi?, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship said:

"I would like to thank Serbia for its efforts and commitment to ensure closer cooperation with the EU on border and migration management. This is in the interest of both Serbia and the EU. With the agreement signed today, we are further strengthening our relations with Western Balkan partners, bringing this neighbourhood closer to the EU."

Maria Ohisalo, Minister of the Interior of Finland said:

"Cooperation with our partners in the Western Balkans is essential to ensure the successful management of our common borders. Through this agreement Frontex will be able to coordinate operational cooperation between EU member states and Serbia, and provide support and expertise which will bring benefits for all."

This agreement allows the European Border and Coast Guard Agency to assist Serbia in border management, carry out joint operations and deploy teams in the regions of Serbia that border the EU, subject to Serbia's agreement.

These activities aim at tackling irregular migration and cross-border crime, and can involve the provision of increased technical and operational assistance at the border.

Strengthened cooperation between priority third countries and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will also contribute to further enhancing security at the EU's external borders.

Full press release (Extern länk)

Status agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Serbia on actions carried out by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in the Republic of Serbia (Extern länk)

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EU - Western Balkans Justice and Home Affairs ministerial forum - joint press statement (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191120:

Europeiska Unionens råd 19-11-08:

Europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningen: rådet antar reviderad förordning till sidans topp

Rådet har antagit en ny förordning om Frontex, som är en viktig del av EU:s övergripande strategi för migration och gränsförvaltning.

Frontex ska stärkas i fråga om personal och teknisk utrustning. Frontex ska dessutom få ett bredare mandat för att stödja medlemsländerna i deras verksamhet, särskilt gällande gränskontroll, återvändande och samarbete med länder utanför EU. Den nya förordningen innebär att det europeiska gränsövervakningssystemet (Eurosur) införlivas i Frontex för att förbättra dess sätt att fungera.

Stående gräns- och kustbevakningstyrka och återvändandeexperter

För att säkerställa en sammanhållen förvaltning av EU:s yttre gränser och för att kunna reagera på kriser kommer Frontex att ha en stående styrka. Denna styrka, som ska byggas upp gradvis, ska senast 2027 ha en personalstyrka på 10 000. Där ska bl.a. operativ personal från Frontex och från EU:s medlemsländer ingå, med antingen långvarig utstationering eller kortare utplacering, och styrkan ska också ha en reserv för snabba insatser, som ska finnas kvar till slutet av 2024.

Återvändande

Förslaget till nya regler ger Frontex möjlighet att tillhandahålla tekniskt och operativt stöd till EUländerna vid återvändandeinsatser. Byrån ska ge stöd på begäran av det berörda medlemslandet eller på eget initiativ och med det berörda landets samtycke. Stödet ska omfatta alla aspekter av återvändandeinsatser, från förberedande verksamhet till verksamheter efter återvändande och efter ankomst.

Samarbete med länder utanför EU

Förslaget till nya regler bidrar till ett starkare samarbete med tredjeländer eftersom byrån får ett större handlingsutrymme och möjligheterna till gemensamma insatser inte begränsas till EU:s grannländer.

Läs mer och ladda ned förordning (Extern länk)

EU-kommissionen 19-11-08: EU delivers on stronger European Border and Coast Guard to support Member States (Extern länk)

EU-kommissionen 19-10-29: Frontex is recruiting Border Guards (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191017:

EU-kommissionen 19-10- 07:

EU undertecknar avtal med Montenegro om samarbete inom gräns- och kustbevakning till sidans topp

Idag undertecknade EU ett avtal med Montenegro om ett gränsförvaltningssamarbete mellan Montenegro och Europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningsbyrån (Frontex). Avtalet undertecknades av Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU-kommissionär för migration, inrikes frågor och medborgarskap och Maria Ohisalo, Finlands inrikesminister och rådets ordförande, och av Montenegros inrikesminister Mevludin Nuhod?i?.

- Idag stärker vi ytterligare vårt gränssamarbete med Montenegro och tar ännu ett steg mot att föra västra Balkan närmare EU, säger Dimitris Avramopoulos. De migrations- och säkerhetsutmaningar vi står inför är gemensamma och även våra insatser måste vara gemensamma.

- Syftet med detta avtal är att låta Frontex samordna det operativa samarbetet mellan EU-länderna och Montenegro när det gäller förvaltningen av de gränser som EU och Montenegro delar, säger Maria Ohisalo. Undertecknandet är ännu ett bevis på det fördjupade och utvidgade samarbetet med Montenegro. Avtalet kommer att medföra fördelar för båda parter, särskilt i fråga om förbättrad gränsförvaltning.

Avtalet gör det möjligt för Frontex att hjälpa Montenegro med gränsförvaltningen, utföra gemensamma insatser och placera ut enheter i regioner i Montenegro som gränsar till EU, under förutsättning att Montenegro samtycker.

Dessa åtgärder är inriktade på att hantera irreguljär migration, särskilt plötsliga förändringar av migrationsströmmar, samt gränsöverskridande brottslighet, och kan omfatta mer teknisk och operativ hjälp vid gränsen.

Ett förstärkt samarbete mellan prioriterade tredjeländer och Frontex kommer att bidra till hanteringen av irreguljär migration och ytterligare förbättra säkerheten vid EU:s yttre gränser.

Vad händer nu?

(...)

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ECRE 19-10-11: Second EU Agreement on Border Cooperation in the Balkans with More to Follow (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190826:

Frontex 19-08-07:

Frontex condemns any form of inhumane treatment and violence till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency condemns any form of inhumane treatment and violence and adheres to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Fundamental rights are at the core of all the agency's activities. They are integrated into the Frontex Codes of Conduct, the Common Core Curricula for border guards, specialised training for border surveillance officers or officers conducting forced return operations.

The Code of Conduct obliges every officer who has a reason to believe fundamental rights of any person were violated, either by witnessing such violation directly, or by hearing about it, to report this immediately to Frontex in form of a Serious Incident Report.

All reports related to potential violation of fundamental rights are immediately passed on to the agency and Fundamental Rights Office, an independent body established to advise the agency and monitor compliance with fundamental rights in all its activities.

Frontex officers did write such reports in the past and the agency immediately contacted the authorities of the countries concerned and informed the European Commission. It should be noted however that while the agency can suspend an officer deployed by Frontex, it does not have the authority over the national border police forces nor does it have the power to conduct investigations in the EU Member States.

All those measures - specific guidelines for officers, training, monitoring by independent experts, the Fundamental Rights Office and Consultative Forum (an independent advisory body on fundamental rights comprised of European and international organisations and NGOs) are intended to make sure the appropriate checks and balances are in place.

Another such measure is the complaints mechanism which allows anyone who believes their rights have been violated by a Frontex deployed officer to lodge a complaint.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190801:

Frontex 19-07-31:

Frontex begins testing use of aerostat for border surveillance till sidans topp

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, in partnership with the Hellenic Coast Guard, has launched a one-month trial of an aerostat and other equipment for border surveillance on the Greek island of Samos.

The aerostat pilot project aims to assess the capacity and cost efficiency of aerostat performing sea surveillance in an operational environment. The aerostat will be flown at various altitudes to test its use for effective surveillance to detect unauthorised border crossings, support sea rescue operations and combat cross-border crime.

One of the core tasks of Frontex is to identify various technologies that can be used for border control. The agency has tested a variety of technologies, including biometrics, automated border crossing gates now commonly used at international airports and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.

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ECRE 19-07-22:

ECRE Policy Note: Migration Mission Creep? till sidans topp

ECRE'S assessment of the emerging role of CSDP missions in forced displacement and migration

The recent discussion about the extension of the mandate of EUNAVOR MED Operation Sophia, the EU's military Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) mission operating in the Mediterranean Sea has illustrated the roles that CSDP missions have come to play in EU migration policy. CSDP missions have traditionally been deployed to situations of (post) conflict or crisis which were of significant interest for achieving the EU's foreign policy objectives or of strategic importance to individual Member States. Operation Sophia, and the latest debate about its mandate, however, can be better understood as an outcome and reflection of the EU's own political crisis on asylum and migration policy and its failure to develop a rational, rightsbased approach. Operation Sophia is the most prominent example of CSDP mission involvement in migration but there is a wider trend developing. This Policy Note will provide an overview of the recent developments regarding the role of CSDP missions in the EU's approach to migration. It analyses key questions on the role of CSDP in forced displacement and migration.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190721:

Frontex 19-07-15:

26 people smugglers arrested in 10 days in a Frontex-led operation till sidans topp

On 28 June-8 July, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, led an international operation against serious and organised cross-border crime in Central and South Eastern Europe.

The operation, known as Joint Action Day (JAD) Danube 4 focused on combatting the smuggling of migrants and document fraud. It was co-led by Austria, where a coordination centre was put in place to support the exchange of intelligence among the participants. Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia also took part in the action. EU agencies and international organisations, such as Europol and Interpol provided the opportunity for real-time operational information exchange between the countries.

Within less than two weeks, the international cooperation led to:

+ Arrest of 26 suspected people smugglers

+ Detection of 2 760 irregular migrants

+ Detection of 92 fraudulent documents

+ Seizure of EUR 403 850 in smuggled cash

+ Seizure of 200 000 cigarettes

+ Detection of three firearms and 88 pieces of ammunition.

The operation was coordinated under the umbrella of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) as part of the EU Policy Cycle, a 4-year plan for the fight against serious and organised crime. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU Member States, European agencies and international organisations to jointly strengthen Europe's borders and internal security. The results and intelligence gathered will help in ongoing and future investigations.

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EASO 19-07-18:

EASO and Frontex sign updated Cooperation Plan till sidans topp

Today the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), strengthened their cooperation in their respective work on asylum, border control and migration management.

The updated Cooperation Plan was signed by the Executive Director of EASO, Nina Gregori, and the Executive Director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, in Helsinki at the informal Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting. Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and Maria Ohisalo, the Finnish Minister of the Interior who represents the Presidency of Finland of the Council of the EU attended the signing ceremony.

"The European Asylum Support Office and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency are Europe's key agencies in supporting Member States to better manage asylum, migration and border challenges. I therefore very much welcome that they will strengthen their cooperation even more for the future," said Commissioner Avramopoulos.

Nina Gregori stated: "EASO is delighted to renew and update this Plan with our sister Agency, Frontex. Our two Agencies work hand-in-hand to support Member States in the field of border management and asylum through training, analytical work, data gathering and concrete operational support on the ground. That is why it is important that our cooperation at all levels has continued to strengthen over the past years and that today we are reiterating this cooperation by providing a roadmap for our joint work in the future."

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190620:

Frontex 19-06-14:

Suspicious vessels, people and drug smugglers arrested in coordinated operation till sidans topp

Nine suspicious vessels were seized and eight people smugglers were arrested as part of Joint Action Day (JAD) Adria, an international operation coordinated by Frontex and co-led by Greece, Croatia and Italy. It took place in the area of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea and on the land routes in the countries in the region.

In the course of JAD Adria:

+ 169 irregular migrants apprehended,

+ 166 persons refused entry and

+ 20 forged/falsified documents seized.

Law enforcement authorities taking part in JAD Adria also seized 27.4 kg of cannabis and arrested one drug smuggler.

France and Europol also supported JAD Adria, which provided the opportunity for real-time information exchange between all of the participants. The operation, which took place between 28 May and 4 June. A Coordination Centre was set up in Piraeus, Greece at the Hellenic Coastguard HQ.

The operation was coordinated under the umbrella of the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT) as part of the EU Policy Cycle, a 4-year plan for the fight against serious and organised crime. It brings together police and law enforcement authorities of EU Member States, European agencies and international organisations to jointly strengthen Europe's borders and internal security. The results and intelligence gathered will help in ongoing and future investigations.

Pressmeddelandet (Extern länk)

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Jane's Defence 19-06-10: Germany withdraws from EUNAVFOR's Operation 'Sophia' in Mediterranean (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190610:

Frontex 19-05-17:

Frontex trained 250 experts from Western Balkans and Turkey till sidans topp

On 16 May, Frontex together with representatives of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other local partners in Belgrade, Serbia, discussed the achievements of the first phase of the EU-funded "Regional Support to Protection-Sensitive Migration Management in the Western Balkans and Turkey" project.

The aim of the project was to introduce and share EU standards and best practices on migration management in the Western Balkan region and Turkey.

Frontex and its partners supported the countries in developing a protection-sensitive response to migration flows, assisting them in strengthening systems that aim at better identification and referral of those migrants that are in need of international protection or asylum.

In the course of the project, Frontex organised more than 20 training sessions for 250 participants from the Western Balkans and Turkey. The topics ranged from combatting trafficking in human beings to the detection of document fraud and the respect for fundamental rights during return operations.

"The project allows us to respond effectively to common challenges in the EU and in our neighbourhood. Border guards need to be able to identify vulnerable groups. This is why Frontex helps strengthen the identification, registration and referral systems in the beneficiary countries," said Frontex Deputy Director during his speech in Belgrade.

A part of Frontex's efforts also concentrated on return operations, a core part of the EU migration management policy. To ensure that the highest standards, including fundamental rights, are respected during return operations, the agency's experts provided a range of training activities for the beneficiary countries, helping them develop an operational and transparent return system based on a unified European approach and procedures.

(...)

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EU-kommissionen 19-05-21:

Europeisk gräns- och kustbevakning: Första gemensamma insatsen utanför EU inleds till sidans topp

I dag inleder Europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningsbyrån i samarbete med de albanska myndigheterna den första gemensamma insatsen någonsin i ett grannland som inte är med i EU. Från och med den 22 maj kommer enheter från byrån att sättas in tillsammans med albanska gränsvakter vid gränsen mellan Grekland och Albanien för att stärka gränsförvaltningen och förbättra säkerheten vid EU:s yttre gränser, i full överenskommelse med alla berörda länder. Denna insats markerar en ny fas för gränssamarbetet mellan EU och partnerländerna på västra Balkan och är ännu ett steg på vägen mot en fullt verksam byrå.

Vid lanseringen i Tirana i Albanien deltar Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU-kommissionär med ansvar för migration, inrikes frågor och medborgarskap, Fabrice Leggeri, verkställande direktör för Europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningsbyrån samt Albaniens premiärminister Edi Rama och Albaniens inrikesminister Sandër Lleshaj.

- Med den första utstationeringen av europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningsenheter utanför EU någonsin inleder vi ett helt nytt kapitel i vårt samarbete kring migration och gränsförvaltning med Albanien och hela västra Balkanregionen, säger Dimitris Avramopoulos, EU-kommissionär med ansvar för migration, inrikes frågor och medborgarskap. Detta är ett verkligt banbrytande och verkligt historiskt steg som för denna region närmare EU genom ett samordnat och ömsesidigt stödjande samarbete kring gemensamma utmaningar, såsom en bättre hantering av migration och skydd av våra gemensamma gränser.

- I dag innebär en milstolpe för vår byrå och det bredare samarbetet mellan EU och Albanien, säger Fabrice Leggeri, verkställande direktör för Europeiska gräns- och kustbevakningsbyrån. Vi inleder den första fullskaliga gemensamma insatsen utanför EU för att stödja Albaniens gränskontrollarbete och bekämpning av gränsöverskridande brottslighet.

(...)

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Frontex 19-05-29: Frontex and Ukrainian border guard extend cooperation agreement (Extern länk)

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EU-kommissionen 19-06-04:

Helping carriers implement new information systems for borders and security till sidans topp

Today, the European Commission together with the European Union Agency for the Operational Management of Large-Scale IT Systems in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice - eu-LISA - are hosting an informal meeting with representatives of carriers' associations. The aim is to provide these associations, who represent the air, marine and land passenger transport industries with information on carriers' obligations under the new EU regulations establishing the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

Carriers will need to check the Entry/Exit System to determine if a third-country national travelling to the EU with a short-stay single or multiple-entry visa has already used up the number of authorised entries.

Carriers will need to check the European Travel Information and Authorisation System to ensure that that their visa-exempt passengers hold a valid travel authorisation.

Background

The meeting is one of the steps in the elaboration of a set of implementing acts that the European Commission is required to adopt, in accordance with the regulations. In early 2020, the Commission will adopt a set of implementing acts that will define the practical modalities for carriers' consultation of the Entry-Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). The EES replaces the current method of manually stamping passports, with an electronic record of entries and exits. The ETIAS will enable national authorities to carry out pre-travel screening for potential security and migration risks of presented by visa-exempt visitors.

(...)

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EU-kommissionen 19-06-07:

Europol and the European border and coast guard agency sign a joint action plan till sidans topp

Today, the Executive Directors of Europol and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, have signed a new joint Action Plan that will guide their cooperation in the coming years to strengthen their common efforts in enhancing the security of EU citizens.

The action plan was signed by Europol Executive Director, Catherine de Bolle, and Frontex Executive Director, Fabrice Leggeri, at the margins of the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg. The ceremony took place in the presence of the Romanian Minister of Interior Affairs and Chair of the JHA Council, Carmen Daniela Dan, and the Director-General of the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission, Paraskevi Michou.

Europol's databases and criminal investigations will be strengthened by information gathered by Frontex during operational activities at the external borders. Information from Europol will facilitate more efficient management of the EU's external borders and intelligence-based, targeted action against criminal groups and terrorists.

This structural exchange of information between the two agencies will improve the work of border guards and support investigations.

Efforts of both agencies in the fields of research and development of new technologies will also be closely coordinated, for instance for the introduction of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). Frontex will set up and manage the ETIAS Central Unit, which will provide operational support, as well as reinforcing and coordinating border control activities in Member States.

Europol and Frontex also plan to hold annual meetings of executive management and exchange liaison officers.

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Källor: Informationen på denna sida är hämtad från följande källor (externa länkar): EU (kommissionen, ministerrådet, parlamentet och domstolen), Europarådet (mr-kommissionären, domstolen, kommittén mot tortyr), FN:s flyktingkommissariat UNHCR, FN:s kommitté mot tortyr m.fl. FN-organ, Sveriges Radio, SvT, andra svenska media via Nyhetsfilter och pressmeddelanden via Newsdesk, utländska media till exempel via Are You Syrious och Rights in Exile, internationella organisationer som Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ECRE, Statewatch och Picum, organisationer i Sverige som Rädda Barnen, Asylrättscentrum, Svenska Amnesty, FARR och #vistårinteut samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

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