Out of sight, out of mind? Frontex and Human Rights at the EU Borders
In October 2020, a group of media outlets published evidence about Frontex vessels involved in human rights violations in the Aegean Sea. This raised serious questions about the EU agency’s denial of knowledge of or active contribution to pushbacks. The evidence shows how Frontex witnessed the Hellenic Coast Guard conducting pushbacks but also how the EU agency’s was actively involved in these activities. The situation at the Croatian-Bosnian border, where pushbacks and violence by the Croatian authorities are reported constantly, also raises questions on the involvement of Frontex in these breaches of human rights. In theory, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2019/1896) foresees Frontex’s obligation to terminate activities in case of violations of fundamental rights, as well as several mechanisms to prevent such breaches.
The Home Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag demanded Frontex to provide them with more detailed information on the abovementioned incidents. The European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs decided in January 2021 to set up a Frontex Scrutiny Group. Against this background, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung invites you to an online discussion on the consequences arising from these incidents from legal, political and public authorities’ perspectives.
15:00 – 15:10 Welcome: Anna Schwarz, Head of Programme “Global Transformation”, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union, Brussels
15:10 – 16:00 Debate with:
- Prof. Nora Markard, Professor for International Public Law and International Human Rights, University of Münster
- Matthias Oel, Director - Borders, Interoperability and Innovation, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission
- Andreas I. Pottakis, Greek Ombudsman
- Tineke Strik, Member of the European Parliament, Greens/EFA
Moderation: Neda Noraie-Kia, Head of Migration Policy Europe, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Thessaloniki Office
16:00 – 16:30 Q&A
Working language: English
For any questions, please contact Anna Trzcińska, Office and Event Manager, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union.