The two agencies have had an intensive collaboration on a wide range of issues on the basis of a cooperation agreement signed in 2010. This for example has included FRA’s participation in the Frontex Consultative Forum since its creation in 2012 and close working relations with the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer.
In light of the current situation, the two Agency Directors agreed to step up this cooperation further. Preceded by operational discussions between FRA’s asylum team and Frontex staff, the meeting served to identify areas for enhanced collaboration. This includes capacity-building for Member State monitors of forced returns and the short-term deployment of a FRA expert to provide assistance and support the EU agencies operating under challenging conditions in the hotspots in Greece. FRA’s cooperation with Frontex and the EU’s Asylum Support Office (EASO) is a key component of FRA’s work in the current refugee context. It covers sensitive fundamental rights areas, such as child protection, the combat against trafficking in human beings, fundamental rights compliant return, and access to the asylum procedure for persons in need of international protection.