The EU border protection agency was recently criticized again. The European Parliament has now set up a commission of inquiry.
The European Parliament set up a commission of inquiry on Tuesday to clarify the allegations against the European border protection agency, Frontex, which has recently come under fire. Frontex, based in Warsaw, has been criticized for months because of possible involvement in illegal actions against migrants. The media had reported so-called pushbacks, in which migrants were driven back from Greece towards Turkey.
The Austrian Bettina Vollath (SPÖ) is one of 14 EU MPs for the Social Democrats in the commission of inquiry. “With today’s start of work in the Frontex Commission of Inquiry, the next four months will now be about clearing up all allegations of fundamental rights violations at the external borders, corruption and a lack of transparency,” Vollath said in a broadcast. The SPÖ MEP complained that Frontex boss Fabrice Leggeri had so far denied all allegations instead of helping to clarify the situation.
Frontex should grow
Frontex had recently come under pressure because of secret contacts with the armaments lobby. “It is planned that Frontex will continue to grow enormously in the coming years, receive new competencies and many resources. That is why we must ensure that the protection of fundamental and human rights in European border protection finally takes precedence over the establishment of a pure deterrent regime”, said Vollath. As an EU agency, Frontex is bound by European laws and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and is accountable to the European public for its actions.
The parliamentary commission of inquiry is supposed to collect facts and evidence in the first four months. The meetings will take place twice a month. The CDU MEP Lena Düpont said it was also the task of this body to consider how the European Parliament could support Frontex as a whole in exercising the mandate in accordance with EU law and fundamental and human rights.
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