Frontex under scrutiny: inquiries and investigations November 2020 onwards

Building from a policy brief by Ilaria Aversa (University of Greenwich) and Mariana Gkliati (Leiden University, University of Leiden), this section of the Observatory provides a resource on actions and investigations launched regarding Frontex since November 2020.

Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, is currently under heavy scrutiny from multiple angles, including the European Parliament, the EU Ombudsman, and the European Anti-Fraud Office. At the same time judicial action has been initiated vis-à-vis the agency.

This unprecedented activation of accountability mechanisms has been sparked by allegations of the complicity of the agency in push-backs at the Greek-Turkish border, supported by evidence published by a consortium of media outlets in November 2020, including the German magazine Der Spiegel, the broadcaster ARD and Bellingcat.

This section of the Observatory aims to give a bird’s eye’s view of the recent investigations of Frontex.

27 July 2021

Annex to the European Parliament scrutiny group report on fundamental rights violations

Draft annex to the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group (FSWG) report, supported by EPP, S&D, Renew and Greens.

Frontex Management Board Working Group

Purpose: Investigation on alleged Human Rights violations in the Aegean Sea Operations

European Parliament Frontex Scrutiny Group

Purpose: Initial four-month enquiry on the respect by Frontex of human rights in operations in the Aegean.

European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)

Purpose: Investigation into alleged misconduct, and allegations of migrant pushbacks.

European Ombudsman I

Purpose: Investigation on Frontex dealing with a request for public access to documents regarding tracking data of Frontex vessels.

European Ombudsman II

Purpose: How the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex) dealt with multiple requests for public access to documents concerning contracts with private companies

European Ombudsman III

Purpose: Investigation on Frontex failure to maintain a public register of documents and other issues related to public access to documents.

European Ombudsman IV

Purpose: Investigation how Frontex deals with requests for public access to documents

European Ombudsman V

Purpose: Investigation on the failure of Frontex to reply to an administrative complaint

European Ombudsman VI

Purpose: Investigation of the functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency's (Frontex) Complaints Mechanism for alleged breaches of fundamental rights

European Ombudsman VII

Purpose: Strategic inquiry on how Frontex complies with its obligations and ensures accountability in relation to its new enhanced responsibilities under Regulation (EU) 2019/1896

European Ombudsman VIII

Purpose: investigation into the refusal by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) to give public access to documents concerning a search and rescue operation

Preliminary action against Frontex pursuant to Art. 265 TFEU

Court: Court of Justice of the European Union

Communication to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court - SJAC

Communication to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court - SJAC


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