28 January 2021
Frontex’s Management Board met on 20-21 January 2021 to discuss the preliminary report of its ‘Working Group on Fundamental Rights and Legal Operational Aspects of Operations in the Aegean Sea’. Its conclusions express concern over the agency’s compliance with the investigation.
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Frontex’s management board, made up of representatives from the border authorities of member states and two representatives of the European Commission, established the Working Group in November in response to allegations that Frontex knew about or was involved in pushbacks at sea.
Though the Working Group itself does not include the agency’s Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) or the Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights as members, the FRO and representatives of the Consultative Forum were involved in the group’s discussions. The Working Group’s final report on the incidents is due by 26 February 2021.
The Working Group examined 13 possible “serious incidents” to ascertain whether fundamental rights violations had occurred. Five of these incidents “require further inquiry by the Working Group and additional clarifications”.
Frontex failed to provide the information requested on three further incidents in time for this meeting, which the Management Board says it is "very concerned" about.
The following recommendations can be found in the management board’s statement here.
"The Management Board invites the Executive Director of the Agency to immediately provide the missing information and to implement the recommendations made in the report for the improvement of the Agency’s internal process and procedures, in particular:
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