15 February 2022
Crisis-driven EU policy in recent years fits within a securitisation narrative, in which the claim of public security threat outweighs fundamental rights and their accountability safeguards. Under this policy development, Frontex, the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, has experienced an impressive expansion in its powers and competences, without the equivalent enhancement of accountability safeguards. This article, published in the Utrecht Law Review, focuses in particular on the issue of transparency as a fundamental right and an element of social and political accountability.
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"Whether it is the Lampedusa shipwreck, the Syrian war, terrorism, or Covid-19, the EU migration policy in recent years is heavily crisis-driven. It seems to be in a constant state of emergency, responding spasmodically to perceived threats that change guise, but fit comfortably within a well-designed narrative of securitisation, understood as the political connection of migration to societal dangers, or the political construction of migration as a security issue.1 Within it, the need for public security vis-à-vis external threats outweighs fundamental rights and the core democratic priority of accountability and oversight of public institutions.
"The EU Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG or Frontex or the Agency) has experienced, since its establishment in 2004, an impressive expansion of its powers and competencies, holding the largest budget amongst all EU agencies. Regrettably, the expansion of its mandate was not coupled with an equivalent enhancement of accountability safeguards, including transparency safeguards. More generally, the lack of transparency has been widely problematised especially in light of the reported involvement of the Agency in human rights violations.2
"This article focuses in particular on the issue of transparency as a fundamental right and an element of social and political accountability. Specifically, it examines how lack of transparency in complex multi-actor structures in the area of migration management, such as Frontex joint operations, can result in gaps in accountability and impact the enforcement of basic fundamental rights of EU citizens and migrants."
Full article: Gkliati, M. and Kilpatrick, J., 2022. Crying Wolf Too Many Times: The Impact of the Emergency Narrative on Transparency in FRONTEX Joint Operations. Utrecht Law Review, 17(4), pp.57–72. DOI: http://doi.org/10.36633/ulr.770
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