Purpose: Investigation of the functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency's (Frontex) Complaints Mechanism for alleged breaches of fundamental rights
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Investigative body: European Ombudsman
Started: November 2020
Status: Decision on 15 June 2021
Implementation of obligations concerning the complaints mechanism and the Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) have been delayed, while various potential shortcomings with the complaints mechanism “may make it more difficult for individuals to report alleged fundamental rights violations and seek redress".
The Ombudsman found that there are a very low number of complaints, and inadequate transparency about the implementation of the complaints mechanism.
On the other hand, the inquiry found that cooperation with the FRO has improved, though issues with cooperation between the FRO and authorities member states are still subject to delays, and no member state has provided evidence to the FRO.
While the FRO has sufficient independence to deal with complaints, its role in dealing with serious incident reports (SIRs) is insufficient, beginning too late in the process.
The Ombudsman made recommendations regarding: operational plans; memoranda of understanding with non-EU countries; public information on the complaints mechanism; revised implementing rules for the complaints mechanism; and reporting and publications.
Decision in OI/5/2020/MHZ on the functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency's (Frontex) complaints mechanism for alleged breaches of fundamental rights and the role of the Fundamental Rights Officer
Reply from Frontex 25 January 2021
Letter from the European Ombudsman to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) concerning its Complaints Mechanism
Report on the meeting of the European Ombudsman's inquiry team with FRONTEX representatives
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