Party of European Socialists reiterates demand to hold Frontex accountable

19/04/2021

A patrol boat for the European Union border force Frontex is visible in the background as refugees in a dinghy approach the Greek island of Lesbos, February 2020. Photo: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP.

A patrol boat for the European Union border force Frontex is visible in the background as refugees in a dinghy approach the Greek island of Lesbos, February 2020. Photo: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP.

The Party of European Socialists reiterates its support for the public accountability of Frontex’s work, in the light of the attempts from the German interior ministry – run by Horst Seehofer - to obstruct the investigation of five cases of possible human rights violations concerning pushbacks of migrant boats off the Greek coast.

The PES supports Commissioner Ylva Johansson’s demand to further investigate these and any other suspicious cases.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Frontex is about shared sovereignty and common rules. And these rules are based on rationality and humanity. Any human rights violations undermine the spirit of Frontex and all allegations must be thoroughly investigated.

“We commend the work of Commissioner Ylva Johansson and her drive to clarify any possible human rights violations in line with the concerns expressed by OLAF, by the European Ombudswoman and by the S&D Group in the European Parliament.”

The PES Migration and Integration Network last month said Frontex must change to become a true force for the just and humane management of Europe’s external border.

In the European Parliament the LIBE Committee has set up a working group on Frontex which will look at fundamental rights compliance and the agency's internal management. Socialist and Democrats – represented on the Frontex working group by MEP Javier Moreno – are committed to holding the agency accountable so it can be put back on the right track.