Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri has called for the creation of an evaluation committee to consider legal questions related to the Agency’s surveillance of external sea borders and accommodating the concerns raised by member states about “hybrid threats” affecting their national security at external borders where the European Border and Coast Guard Agency will deploy its standing corps.
Under the Frontex proposal, the committee would be coordinated by the European Commission with the participation of member states on a volunteer basis to address various questions.
“Any allegation of misconduct or infringement of international treaties or fundamental rights in the framework of joint operations coordinated by Frontex is treated with grave concern and carefully investigated,” said Leggeri. “I am committed to reinforce the office of the Fundamental Rights Officer and to gradually increase its budget,” he added.
Leggeri also proposed that the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer to play a bigger role in raising awareness of the operational officers on the legal requirements that they need to apply on an everyday basis in the field.
“This could apply not only to the Frontex-deployed staff, but also to the staff of the International Coordination Centres, who often play an essential part in deciding to react to complicated events,” Leggeri said.
Frontex recently launched an inquiry after media reports accused the Agency of being complicit in pushbacks aimed at preventing asylum seekers crossing the Aegean Sea.