Tineke Strik of the Netherlands (GroenLinks), a member of the European Parliament, will lead the European investigation into the violations at Frontex, the border agency responsible for guarding European external borders. The Warsaw-based agency is accused of illegal immigration detention. There will also be misconduct, intimidation, and possibly fraud.
Commissioner Johansson, who deals with Frontex, this week in the European Parliament mentioned in part the leadership’s reluctance to address the problems. According to them, the reason provided by Frontex (the rapid growth of the organization) is not a good excuse. The European Commissioner had earlier criticized the Organization’s Supreme Executive Director. At the end of last year, director Legeri called for a quick clarification of the illegal detention and repulsion of migrants at the Turkish-Greek border.
Strick has already posed questions about the issue in the European Parliament several times. “The cornerstone must be lifted and we want to be able to make recommendations so that it does not happen again in the future.”
The investigation is expected to last four months, during which time not only Frontex employees will be questioned, but the European Commission will also be summoned. Strike and her committee also plan to hear from the reporters.
Frontex’s criticism is not only related to migrants, but also about other cases where the organization did not follow the rules. For example, conversations with a large number of lobbyists have been hidden, while this must be recorded in accordance with European rules. Meanwhile, the anti-fraud organization OLAF has also opened an investigation into Frontex.
Strike wants more oversight of Frontex in the future. “As there are more tasks and people, the organization has grown. That is why we have to make sure that everything goes according to the rules. Better democratic control will help us prevent violations in the future.”