The European Parliament will this evening vote on a report setting out recommendations to the EU border agency FRONTEX on how to better protect the fundamental rights of refugees. The report calls for the creation of a complaints mechanism for refugees and calls on the Commission to include this in the new legislative proposal, expected on 15 December. Commenting ahead of the vote, Greens/EFA group vice-president Ska Keller, who is the EP's co-draftsperson/rapporteur on the file, said:
"FRONTEX cannot close its eyes to breaches of fundamental rights. The lack of any form of recourse for refugees whose basic rights have been breached in the context of a FRONTEX mission is both legally and morally unacceptable. The European Commission must correct this and include proposals for a complaints mechanism in the new rules governing FRONTEX, which it is set to present.
"At present, FRONTEX is washing its hands of any complaints by refugees, hiding behind an oversimplified claim that EU member states are responsible. It has to be the duty of FRONTEX to deal with complaints by refugees who have been subject to push-backs or abuses even if these were at the hands of national authorities. The complex situation regarding competence between EU member states and FRONTEX cannot be on the backs of refugees."