Saturday, May 28

The director of Frontex resigns due to the scandals of returns in the Mediterranean

The director of Frontex resigns. Harassed by the continuous revelations about cases of human rights violations in hot returns in the Mediterranean, Fabrice Leggeri presented his resignation this Friday before the board of directors of the EU border guard. According to new research published by The GuardianFrontex has been involved in the returns of at least 957 asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea between March 2020 and September 2021.

“Leggeri’s resignation is great news, although Frontex has not made it official yet. All the reasons that have led to this decision must be clarified immediately. For its part, the Commission must assume its responsibility with respect to Leggeri and this agency”, declared the IU spokeswoman in the Eurochamber, Sira Rego, a member of the commission that investigated the agency for the allegations of human rights violations: “ Frontex’s problem is not just Fabrice Leggeri, Frontex’s problem is structural. Therefore, his resignation is not enough and we need a complete change in the EU’s migration policy”.

According to the report published at the time by the European Parliament, Frontex was not doing enough to respect human rights at European borders. Moreover, Frontex, according to the report of the European Parliament working group presented this Thursday, looks the other way before actions by countries such as Hungary, Croatia or Greece contrary to fundamental rights in relation to migrants. Furthermore, Frontex, according to MEPs, falls so far short of its obligations that it still has about twenty human rights monitor jobs vacant. And that the report has been prepared without summoning victims of human rights violations denounced by journalistic investigations and humanitarian organizations to the sessions in Brussels: even the internal evaluation of the agency showed that there were cases in which Frontex had participated in which violations of fundamental rights could not be ruled out.

“The group did not find conclusive evidence on the direct conduct of hot returns and/or collective expulsions by Frontex in cases of serious incidents”, the report’s conclusions say: “However, the Agency found evidence to support the allegations of violations of fundamental rights in the Member States with which it had a joint operation, but failed to address and follow up on these violations in a prompt, vigilant and effective manner. As a result, Frontex did not prevent these violations or reduce the risk of future fundamental rights violations.”