06 May 2021
Frontex is to set up a lobbying transparency register to record details of meetings with representatives from the private sector, in accordance with the 2019 Regulation governing the border agency. Statewatch has obtained the Decision of Executive Director establishing the register.
See: Decision of the Executive Director No R-ED-2021-67: ED Decision on the Transparency Register (5 May 2021, pdf):
For the purposes of this Decision the following definitions shall apply:
a) ‘Transparency Register’ means a tool to register all meetings and contacts of the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Directors and Heads of Divisions in matters concerning procurement procedures and tenders for services, equipment or outsourced projects and studies.
b) ‘Third Party Stakeholder’ refers to ‘economic operator as defined in the EU Financial Regulation’ meaning any natural or legal person, including a public entity, or a group of such persons, who offers to supply products, execute works or provide services or supply immovable property. This notion does not include representatives of other Union institutions or bodies, national, regional and local authorities of Member States and of third countries or international organisations. However, it covers any association or network created and/or operating to represent market participants, industry, academia, regions or other sub-national public authorities collectively.
c) ‘Frontex’s representatives’ means the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Directors or Heads of Division.
d) ‘Event’ means a meeting or contact as defined under points e) and f) of this Article.
e) ‘Meeting’ means a bilateral or multilateral encounter - physical or by means of distance communication - organised at the initiative of the Third Party Stakeholder’ or Frontex in a form of a workshop, conference, forum, or any other format in matters concerning procurement procedures and tenders between the representatives of Frontex and Third Party Stakeholders.
f) ‘Contact’ means any planned or unplanned encounter or interaction - orally in person, by means of distance communication or in writing - between the Executive Director, or a Deputy Executive Director or a Head of Division with a Third-Party Stakeholder in matters concerning procurements and tenders for services, equipment or outsourced projects and studies."
It is evident that such a register is much needed - Frontex told journalists from the Frontex Files investigation that it "does not meet with lobbyists", despite having held 16 meetings with industry representatives between 2017 and 2019.
Statewatch has also previously reported on the substantial contracts being signed by Frontex, in the absence of a register.
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