For a detailed analysis of the development of a European 'deportation machine', see the Statewatch report Deportation Union: Rights, accountability, and the EU's push to increase forced removals.

25 February 2021

EU states keen for Frontex assistance in deporting unaccompanied children

Member states are broadly supportive of greater Frontex support for the voluntary and forced removal of unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable groups, according to a document obtained by Statewatch. Current policy prevents the border agency from providing support for removal operations themselves, a stance supported by the agency’s fundamental rights consultative body. The Belgian authorities have proposed trying to convince them to change their position.

01 February 2021

EU-Afghanistan informal deportation agreement - full text of the new 'Joint Declaration'

"...following the adoption of the previous informal agreement - the Joint Way Forward - in 2016, the number of forced returns to Afghanistan coordinated and financed by EU border agency Frontex mushroomed."

27 November 2020

EU: Deportations and 'voluntary' returns: Frontex plans and new mandate options, "effective and sustainable reintegration of returnees"

Five documents discussed by the Council of the EU's Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion in March this year.

25 September 2020

EU: No human rights monitoring for 20% of Frontex's deportation flights in 2019

There were no human rights monitors present on 20% of the deportation charter flights coordinated by Frontex in 2019, according to an agency report being published today by Statewatch.

03 September 2020

EU: German Presidency: how can Frontex help deport unaccompanied children?

The implementation of the new mandate of EU border agency Frontex is well under way, and the German Presidency of the Council has raised a question with other member states that is likely to spark controversy: how can the agency assist with the deportation of lone children?

21 August 2020

EU: Frontex report on removal operations in the first half of 2020 and fundamental rights observations

Statewatch is publishing Frontex's report on its forced removal operations in the first half of 2020, along with the observations of the agency's fundamental rights officer (FRO). The FRO report highlights a number of problems: a failure to correctly brief escorts on fundamental rights; not enough monitors available to cover all flights and not enough monitors on each flight; a failure to protect dignity and privacy during strip searches; wrongful disclosure of medical data to escorts; improper treatment of vulnerable groups; and problematic use of force and coercive measures. On this latter point, the FRO's report notes that: "A few monitors found that unauthorized coercive measures were used (steel shoes, helmets)."

16 July 2020

Forced returns and fundamental rights? FRA releases 2020 report on national ‘state of play’

On 3 July the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) released a ‘state of play’ document examining the deportation (“forced return”) monitoring systems of the 27 member states in 2020.

11 September 2019

EU: The revised Returns Directive: a dangerous attempt to step up deportations by restricting rights

The revised Returns Directive is supposed to “speed up return procedures, prevent absconding and secondary movements, and increase the overall EU return rate, in full respect of fundamental rights.” This final point, however, is extremely doubtful. As this analysis makes clear, the key aim of the changes is to restrict individual rights in the name of improving the functioning of the EU’s deportation system. EU lawmakers should discard the proposal and focus on alternative measures that would be less harmful to individuals.

08 April 2016

Statistics: implementing the EU-Turkey deal: "boots on the ground"

Thousands of state officials from across Europe are supposed to be sent to Greece to help implement the EU-Turkey deal on refugees and migrants.

04 April 2016

Greece begins refugee deportations under EU plan

"Under heavy security, authorities on the Greek islands of Lesvos and Chios deported 202 migrants and refugees on boats bound for Turkey – the first to be sent back as part of a controversial European Union plan to limit the amount of migration to Europe."

04 April 2016

First "easy cases" arrive in Turkey after deportation from Greek islands begins

On the day the EU-Turkey deal comes into force, over 130 people have been deported from Greece. They arrived in the port of Dikili this morning after being deported from the islands of Lesvos and Chios on boats staffed by Frontex officers, Turkish officials and Greek riot police. Those on board were "mostly Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Moroccans who were already being deported to Turkey before the deal's creation," according to a report in The Guardian, but there were also apparently two Syrians on board, "including a woman who had volunteered to return." The BBC reports that Sri Lankan nationals were also deported.

14 September 2015

Extraordinary meeting of the Justice and Home Affairs Council to discuss Mediterranean crisis: official documents

"Frontex will help Member States by coordinating the return of irregular migrants."

05 May 2015

SPAIN: Deportation flights violating migrants’ rights, says Ombudswoman - Procedures regarding onboard medical and language assistance are not being followed

"Becerril’s report notes that Frontex did not order the presence of a physician on several deportation flights that it monitored. On others, there was no interpreter. The migrants were sometimes not informed about the possibility of filing a complaint against violations of their fundamental rights... On all monitored deportation flights, there was no video recording as stipulated in the code, especially for difficult cases,” adds the study."

07 March 2013

EU-MOROCCO: Political agreement on Mobility Partnership: Towards the first readmission agreement with an African country?

On 1 March 2013, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the EU's Commissioner on Home Affairs, Cecilia Malström, met with the Moroccan authorities in Rabat. In a press conference, Barroso and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane announced a "new step in the relations" between the EU and Morocco, including a political agreement on the signature of a Mobility Partnership which, some suggest, may finally lead to the conclusion of a readmission agreement which the Moroccan authorities have so far refused to sign.

25 September 2012

EU: Serbia is "no longer a safe third country" but Commission says that readmission "functions smoothly"

According to the organisation Migreurop, in 2011 Frontex organised seven "collective deportation flights," to Serbia, the legality of which "is disputable according to European and international legislation."

EU: Frontex: Democratic legitimacy and concerns over joint returns operations code of conduct

"Caritas Europa welcomes the safeguards included in the draft code. Yet, the Human Rights clauses would be purely decorative without further strengthening the accountability mechanisms and clarification of the personal and material scope of the code. We have therefore provided some alternative language - based in particular on the Council of Europe Twenty Guidelines on Forced Return."


Spotted an error? If you've spotted a problem with this page, just click once to let us know.

Report error