FRA presents new migration reports to European Parliament

Friso Roscam Abbing presents study on fundamental rights at airports and land borders at LIBE Committee
Friso Roscam Abbing presents study on fundamental rights at airports and land borders at LIBE Committee
On 3 December, FRA presented its two new reports on the fundamental rights situation at the EU’s airport and land borders to a session of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).

In his presentation to LIBE, Friso Roscam Abbing, who heads FRA’s Communication and Outreach Department, said there were several areas of concern regarding the treatment of migrants at border crossing points.

"FRA’s research found five points on which improvement is needed to ensure that fundamental rights are integral to the daily management of the EU’s borders," he said. These areas cover:

  • Identifying requests for international protection, particularly if they are not clearly indicated
  • Access to information and appeal options for those who have been refused entry
  • Temporary guardianship and representation arrangements for children
  • Respect for private life and data protection
  • Dignified conditions for those held at border crossings, including availability of food and water and access to family and/or relevant NGOs

The two reports were launched during FRA’s Fundamental Rights Conference, which took place on 10-11 November 2014 and was dedicated to the subject of Fundamental rights and migration to the EU.

The conference, at which the European Parliament was represented by LIBE Vice-President Iliana Iotova, led to conclusions calling for a more holistic approach to migration in the EU. This was echoed by Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in a speech to the LIBE Committee later in the day, during which he said the “shift in narrative” discussed at the Fundamental Rights Conference was very much needed in the formation and development of EU migration policy.

LIBE Chair Claude Moraes thanked FRA for the reports and its work on migration more generally, pointing out that some areas related to the rights of migrants and asylum seekers are “nebulous issues,” but are vital for a fundamental rights-based approach to EU migration policy.