EU Calls for Inquiry into Border Agency after Human Rights Abuses Reported in Greece and Hungary
May 4, 2022
Cited article by Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian
HRRC hopes that increased political pressure on European agencies like Frontex will correct the abuses migrants and asylum seekers are experiencing. With the growing rates in the global refugee population, it is essential that human rights be prioritized and protections provided for those fleeing conflict zones which endanger their lives and well-being.
The European Union Parliament has refused to sign off on the accounts of an EU border agency. The EU's refusal to approve Frontex's accounts is based on a report by the former director of Frontex written prior to their resignation. The now former-director Fabrice Leggeri drafted a report stating that there were concerns that Frontex was not protecting the human rights of asylum seekers and violating EU law.
Frontex, based in Warsaw, Poland, received a significant increase in funding during the migration crisis in 2015-16 and is now one of the EU's most well-funded border and coastguard agencies in the EU. Specific concerns are raised regarding the agency's actions in two countries. The first is in Greece where, despite reports from both the Council of Europe and the United Nations stating that the agency was violating fundamental rights, the agency did not evaluate the activities in Greece. Second, the agency did not terminate its activities in Hungary after a 2020 ruling by the European Court of Justice that Budapest was failing to implement EU laws to protect the rights of asylum seekers. While the refusal to sign off on Frontex's accounts does not affect the finances of the agency, it does apply political pressure on the incoming director.