The European Border and Coast Guard, Frontex, is growing rapidly, both in budget, human resources and competences, with the standing corps of 10,000 border guards currently being developed. To ensure adequate parliamentary oversight, the EPP Group pushed for a standing Frontex Scrutiny Working Group that will monitor all aspects of the functioning of Frontex. The Working Group held its first meeting today.
For the Agency to play its crucial role in assisting in the protection of our external borders, it is important to provide adequate answers to recent allegations of fundamental rights violations.
After being elected to lead the Working Group, EPP Group MEP Roberta Metsola said: “What we want out of this process is to give clear answers to the questions that are being asked and look into and recommend improvements in the way things are done. We will get to work immediately. Top of our agenda will be speaking to European Commissioner Johansson and Frontex Executive Director Leggeri as well as a visit to Frontex’s headquarters in Poland whenever possible.”
“We will focus on different aspects, including respect for fundamental rights, the Agency’s internal management, and that the expected transparency and accountability standards are reached. It is a purposefully varied remit that focuses on different aspects of the Agency’s operations. I hope the process will lead to a series of recommendations that will give clarity and confidence to people looking at the EU’s role in external border management”, Metsola said.
The Working Group will report back to the Civil Liberties Committee in four months.