The European Parliament today adopted a final compromise revising EU legislation on FRONTEX, the EU's agency for external border operations. While recognising that the final compromise will bring some improvements, the Greens regret that the revision will fall short of providing necessary guarantees on human rights protection (1). After the vote, Green spokesperson on migration and home affairs Ska Keller said:
"The measures adopted today to improve the guarantee of human rights on FRONTEX missions are half-hearted and unconvincing. At least 1,500 people have already died this year on Europe's borders and, against this background, it is not acceptable that human rights protection should be an afterthought for the EU's border agency. Unfortunately, EU governments were unwilling to include sufficient, binding measures to ensure the guarantee of basic rights as part of this legislative revision.
"Clearly, there are some improvements in the proposals adopted today. While the creation of a Fundamental Rights Officer is to be welcomed, the fact that this position is not independent will undermine its effectiveness. It also remains unclear who is ultimately responsible if there are problems with FRONTEX missions, which will allow member states and FRONTEX to continue to dodge the bullet when human rights infringements occur."
(1) Green MEPs abstained in the final vote, as the legislative revision will introduce some improvements to FRONTEX but does not go far enough in ensuring that basic rights are guaranteed on FRONTEX missions.