European Parliament’s LIBE Committee discusses fundamental rights in Frontex operations

The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) discussed fundamental rights in the operations of Frontex, the EU border management agency, on 27 June 2013. The Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) and the chairs of the Consultative Forum – the FRA and the Jesuit Refugee Service - provided a summary of their activities.

In its statement, the FRA stressed the important role played by the Consultative Forum to strengthen fundamental rights at external borders, and stressed the constructive approach within it. The Forum “is a model to replicate at the national level,” the FRA said.

The Jesuit Refugee Service explained that the Forum is tasked to provide recommendations to help Frontex to implement the Fundamental Rights Strategy. However, the Forum “is not a decision making body and cannot substitute the oversight work of the European Parliament,” the JRS emphasised.

Overall, the MEPs were satisfied by the work of the Forum and the FRO. They raised questions and comments on a number of issues, including the need for training for border guards, improvements in Frontex fundamental rights records, and the impact of recommendations by the Consultative Forum.