Dutch MEP Tineke Strik (GroenLinks) will lead the European investigation into the abuses at the border agency Frontex, which is charged with guarding the European external borders. The Warsaw-based agency is accused of illegal detention of migrants. There would also be misconduct, intimidation and possibly fraud.
Commissioner Johansson, who deals with Frontex, mentioned this week in the European Parliament in part reluctance of the leadership to address the problems. According to her, the reason given by Frontex (the rapid growth of the organization) is not a good excuse. The European Commissioner had previously criticized the organization’s top executive. 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 already asked questions about the case in the European Parliament several times. “The bottom stone must be raised and we want to be able to make recommendations so that it cannot occur again in the future.”
The investigation is expected to last four months, during which not only Frontex employees will be questioned but also the European Commission will be called upon. Strik and her committee also plan to hear journalists.
The criticism of Frontex is not only about the 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 concealed, while this must be registered according to European rules. In the meantime, the anti-fraud organization OLAF has also opened an investigation into Frontex.
Strik wants more supervision of Frontex in the future. “Because more tasks and people have been added, the organization has grown. That is why we have to ensure that everything goes according to the rules. Better democratic control will help us prevent abuses in the future.”