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Frontex’s role in illegal mass expulsions at EU borders

Question écrite de Mme Clara PONSATÍ OBIOLS - Commission européenne

Subject: Frontex’s role in illegal mass expulsions at EU borders

A recent report in The Guardian links the deaths of 2 000 asylum seekers to illegal mass expulsions (up to 40 000) carried out by EU Member States1. The report includes testimonies denouncing the use of extreme violence and sexual abuse by border guards from several EU countries, who are supported by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

In November 2020 the Frontex Management Board Working Group (of which the Commission is a member) opened an investigation into Frontex’s practices, which concluded in March 2021 stating that there was ‘no substantial evidence of fundamental rights infringements’, and that it had not been possible to investigate three cases due to the reluctance of the Agency to provide access to necessary documentation2. The Management Board asked the Executive Director to provide the documentation as soon as possible.

1. Did the investigation take into account all the cases reported in The Guardian?

2. Has the Commission already obtained access to the documentation requested?

3. Following up on this report, will the Commission call for a new investigation into Frontex, and propose legislative reforms to put an immediate stop to the illegal anti-human rights practices at EU borders?





Réponse - Commission européenne

Diffusée le 22 juillet 2021

Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission

(23 July 2021)

1. A working group established at the behest of the Commission by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex)’s Management Board examined 13 incidents regarding alleged violations of fundamental rights of migrants in the Aegean Sea. In March 2021, the group delivered its final report. A reinforced and extended executive board has been given a new mandate to support the management board in all governance matters, including the protection of fundamental rights.

2. The Management Board adopted numerous recommendations and requests to the Agency. The Commission expects the Agency to implement these requests expeditiously.

3. The Commission is awaiting the outcome of the ongoing investigations by the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group, the European Anti-Fraud Office and the European Ombudsman. Their findings can serve to determine the necessary further follow up.



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