On this International Human Rights Day, member organisations of the Frontexit Campaign alert the authorities and the public opinion on the dangers of reinforcing the European agency Frontex. They draw attention to 10 upcoming measures, like a set of poisoned chalices, which contribute to the violation of the fundamental rights of migrants and refugees at the expense of their reception and protection.
At a time when fear guides European choices and when measures guaranteeing the “security” of European citizens are the priority, the European Union (EU) trumps all on security in matters of migration policies by enhancing the means and missions of the Frontex agency, coordinating the control of the EU’s external borders.
These measures include the reinforcement of the role of Frontex as regards the removal from “sorting centers” and “HotSpots”, greater independence and deployment capacity at Europe’s borders, a significant increase in its budget, access to police databases in view to fight against terrorism, enhanced external cooperation collaboration with states that do not respect human rights.
These measures are turning Frontex into a “super control agency”, which is uncontrolled and uncontrollable !
For the past 10 years, civil society has denounced the opacity of the agency’s activities and the lack of oversight on its activities from the European or national parliaments. Moreover, it has exposed the impossibility to object to a decision taken against migrants by the agency or lodge a complaint before an independent body in the case of human rights violations. By preventing people from leaving transit countries and by preventing them from reaching EU’s soil - two elements at the core of the agency’s activities - Frontex is also breaching fundamental rights, in particular the right to seek asylum and the non-refoulement principle, as well as the right to leave any country.
Our organisations are convinced that Frontex’s mission is incompatible with the respect of fundamental rights and the reception and protection of people in migration, in line with EU law and with the values it supposedly stands for. Through Frontex, Europe is pursuing its security obsession based on a fantasy of invasion, thereby stirring up the wrongful association between migration and criminality, if not terrorism. It is urgent to put an end to the agency’s activities and to radically reconsider the European migration policy so as to guarantee solidarity and peace.
Europe is at war against an imaginary enemy.