Frontex calls for a committee to consider questions related to sea surveillance

19 November 2020

Border Security

Last week, Frontex Executive Director called for the creation of an evaluation committee to consider legal questions related to the Agency’s surveillance of external sea border and accommodating the concerns raised by Member States about “hybrid threats” affecting their national security at external borders where EBCG will deploy its standing corps. Under the Frontex proposal, the committee would be coordinated by the European Commission with the participation of Member States on a volunteer basis. It would address various questions, in particular those related to Regulation 2014/656 in the light of the current operational situation.

Following this, the Frontex Management Board took note of the additional legal interpretation requested by the Executive Director of EU regulations’ provisions related to the operational activities at sea.

Based on the initial proposal of the Executive Director to set up an evaluation committee, the Management Board concludes that urgent action is needed to investigate all aspects related to the matter. It consequently decided to set up a sub-group to the Management Board to further consider these aspects, in line with the distribution of responsibilities under the EBCG-Regulation. The mandate of this sub-group will be elaborated in view of the discussion at the next Management Board meeting, and should among others also contribute to clarify existing arrangements raised on the interpretation of EU regulations’ provisions related to operational activities at sea and the concerns raised by Member States about “hybrid threats” affecting their national security at external borders.

The Management Board expects that, pursuant to Article 46 of Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 on the European Border and Coast Guard, the Executive Director will suspend or terminate any activity if he considers that there are violations of fundamental rights or international protection obligations that are of a serious nature or are likely to persist. The Management Board also expects that, in case such allegations would involve staff of the Agency, the Executive Director will take without delay all appropriate action.

Lastly, the Management Board calls on the Executive Director and the Fundamental Rights Officer ad interim to complete as soon as possible all the necessary steps to operationalize the fundamental rights framework as provided for in Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 and asked the Executive Director to reply in writing, ahead of the next Management Board meeting on 25-26 November, to any questions that members of the Board may ask by Friday, 13 November 2020.

Further details are available at the following links:

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