The Dutch MEP Tineke Strik (GroenLinks) will lead the European investigation into the abuses of the Frontex border agency responsible for the surveillance of the European external borders. The Warsaw based agency is accused of illegally stopping migrants. There would also be misconduct, intimidation and possible fraud.
Commissioner Johansson, who deals with Frontex, mentioned it in the European Parliament this week in part unwillingness on the part of the leadership to tackle the problems. According to her, the reason FRONTEX mentions (the rapid growth of the organization) is not a good excuse. Earlier, the Commissioner criticized the highest director of the organisation. At the end of last year, she called on Director Leggeri to quickly clarify the illegal stopping and pushing back of migrants at the Turkish-Greek border.
Strik has been asking questions about the matter several times in the European Parliament. “The bottom stone has to come up and we want to be able to make recommendations so that it can not occur in the future.”
The study is expected to last four months, not only questioning Frontex employees but also calling the European Commission to the math. Strik and her committee also intend to hear journalists.
The criticism of Frontex is not only about the migrants, but also about other issues where the organisation did not comply with the rules. For example, conversations with a large number of lobbyists have been kept silent, whereas this must be recorded according to European rules. Meanwhile, the anti-fraud organisation OLAF has also opened an investigation into Frontex.
Strik wants to see more surveillance of Frontex in the future. “Because more tasks and people have arrived, the organization has become bigger. Thats why we need to make sure that everything goes according to the rules. Better democratic control will enable us to avoid abuses in the future.”