The S&D Group in the European Parliament continue to express serious concerns about the leadership of Frontex, the EU’s border agency. We repeat our call for Executive Director Leggeri to resign and call on the Commission to act.
Birgit Sippel, S&D spokesperson on migration, said:
“Last week, the Executive Director of Frontex failed to provide the European Parliament with sufficient and clarifying answers to the allegations against the agency’s involvement in pushbacks of asylum-seekers at the EU’s borders. At today’s midday briefing, the European Commission expressed full confidence to the media in the leadership of Frontex. We do not share that same confidence. The Commission must step up its game and play a more active role as part of the Frontex Management Board in holding the EU’s biggest agency to account.
“Last week in the European Parliament, the Executive Director claimed to lack the guidance and clarity on the legislation that sets out the essential legal basis for the maritime activities of Frontex. This legislation has been in place for more than 6 years. It is extremely worrying that seemingly Frontex has operated for so long under Director Leggeri’s leadership without fully understanding the legal basis for its operations or proactively seeking clarification before agreeing to operational plans.”
Kati Piri, S&D vice-president on migration, said:
“The current direction of travel for Frontex remains a serious concern for MEPs and that direction is set from the top. We stand by our calls for the Executive Director to resign and we call on the Commission to do what needs to be done to set Frontex back on the right course.
“Frontex is the EU’s largest agency and its resources and responsibilities are set to increase further. With the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, there is potential for a further increased role for Frontex as a border agency. Mistakes of the past are doomed to be repeated if there are no consequences for failing to act on breaches of international law and fundamental rights, or worse direct involvement.”