The final report of the European Parliament’s Task Force on Frontex Control, set up by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), was published on Thursday 15 July.
It shows that there is no evidence of involvement of FRONTEX with alleged cases of push-backs and illegal deportations. The conclusion of the European Parliament working group, which was commissioned to investigate the operation of FRONTEX at the request of the European People’s Party, is that European forces operate in a complex environment at the EU’s external borders, facing complex challenges from the Turkish Coast Guard’s aggressive behavior.
As the report characteristically states, “Frontex operates and will continue to operate in areas where geopolitical complexities are unpredictable”. At the same time, it recognizes that the European Agency is now more necessary than ever to protect the EU ‘s borders.
During the drafting of the report, hearings were held with the Executive Director and Fundamental Freedoms Officer of FRONTEX, senior European Commission officials as well as the European Ombudsman, NGO representatives and experts on European and international law.
The report concludes that there is room for improvement in the internal operation of FRONTEX and makes recommendations to the Agency, the Commission and the Council for more effective action and response to any observed malfunctions.
However, with regard to complaints about push-back practices, it does not confirm allegations based on journalistic information and dubious testimonies.
With its report, the FRONTEX Scrutiny Working Group seeks to contribute to the improvement of the Organization and certainly not to weaken it, as well as to ensure that the protection of external borders remains strong and effective, with respect in fundamental rights.