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Migration: giving Europe the Frontex it needs. Simon Busuttil MEP


13 Jul 2011


Global Europe

The European Parliament's Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) today approved a new law granting Frontex a renewed mandate with more resources and tools at its disposal.

Today's vote is the LIBE Committee's stamp of approval to an agreement reached by the EP Rapporteur, Simon Busuttil MEP, with the Council of Ministers after six trialogue meetings.

After the vote, Simon Busuttil said: "We have done our part. Frontex will be up to the task. It will cater for Europe's needs."

This new law will:

  • Increase Frontex's visibility by establishing the European Border Guard Teams;
  • Strengthen its effectiveness;
  • Monitor the protection of human rights, especially of people seeking international protection, throughout the activities of the agency;
  • Increase the democratic scrutiny of the agency by the European Parliament.

After six years of Frontex's operations, there is a clear need to review its operations, not least because it failed to live up to its expectations.

"Frontex was asked to start running when it didn't yet know how to walk. The demands put on this agency since its very inception were huge", said Simon Busuttil.

"Sadly, most Member States failed to honour their pledges of providing assets for Frontex's missions. I think this was the most pressing issue becuase it hindered the effictiveness of the agency", said the Maltese MEP.

With this new law, Frontex will now be able to purchase, lease, own and co-own assets. Furthermore, through compulsory solidarity, Member States will be legally bound to honour their commitments for national border guards assigned or seconded to the agency. Frontex will also have the power to process personal data obtained during missions and use it in the fight against criminality.

"We gave due importance to 'visibility'. The new notion of 'European Border Guards teams' should capture the public's imagination. This is something the previous labels of 'Frontex Joint Support Teams' and 'Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITS)' did not manage to achieve."

"Serious accusations have been levelled against Frontex when it came to saving lives at sea. This new law sets up a consultative forum on fundamental rights which will act as a watchdog on Frontex. The new Fundamental Rights Officer, within Frontex, will help it navigate better. But crucially, in the case of a breach of human rights, Frontex missions would be suspended or terminated", Mr Busuttil declared.

Main Achievements of the European Parliament on the Frontex dossier

For further information:

Simon BUSUTTIL MEP, Tel: +32-2-2847686

David Stellini, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-473-541926

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 264 Members.


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