Reform fails to provide human rights based border management
Today, last round of negotiations with the Council and the European Commission ("trialogue") on the mandate of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex ended. The agreement amounts to an unprecedented and unbalanced expansion of the European Border and Coast Guard’s mandate and resources at a time when the number of migrants arriving irregularly over sea or land in the EU has substantially decreased compared to previous years. Despite the boosting of Frontex, rescuing of migrants is not strengthened as a task of the agency. The agreement also stipulates that 10,000 additional border guards will be recruited. The agreement will be voted on Monday (1 April) in the Committee on Home Affairs and Justice and probably in the plenary week from 15 to 18 April.
Ska Keller, President of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and leading candidate of the European Green Party for the European elections, comments:
“The reform fails to provide human rights based border management. The European Border Guard Agency Frontex will be strengthened in an unprecedented and unbalanced way. Human rights safeguard falls short of this expansion of Frontex. The Member States in the Council also blocked any strengthening of the role of Frontex in saving refugees from drowning. This is particularly worrying given the termination of rescue missions by Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean. The Council also prevented a better control of Frontex by the European Parliament. It is a pity that Member States do not take human rights and control by the European Parliament seriously. At least the European Parliament managed to prevent Frontex return operations from third countries to other third countries and achieved some fundamental rights safeguards such as a stronger role of the Frontex fundamental rights officer.