What we’re calling for:
- Abolish Frontex
- End all Frontex operations and remove all Frontex presence currently deployed
- Stop the push-backs and the pull-backs
- EU member states refuse to participate in Frontex missions – logistically (contribution of equipment and assets) and personnel-wise
- EU member states stop requesting Frontex support for border operations and deportations
- Cut Frontex’ budget and reject any proposed expansion
- Disband the Frontex standing corps
- Stop hiring new Frontex staff
- Redirect spending on border protection towards services and resources for migrants, social services, welfare, health, education and transitioning towards a low-carbon economy
- NGOs: leave Frontex’ Consultative Forum
Frontex is the personification of the EU’s repressive migration and border policies. The agency plays a leading role in EU border security and control work, deportations, cooperation with third countries and contacts with the military and security industry. In the last few years its powers, budgets and number of employees have rapidly increased. It can now give binding advice to EU member states to strengthen border security efforts and can even intervene in their border security affairs, when the Council decides to do so upon a proposal by the European Commission.
While part of Frontex’ new mandate is the building of its own standing border guards corps and equipment pool, it nevertheless depends on EU member states making personnel and equipment available to run its operations. Member states also usually request Frontex assistance, in the form of operations or otherwise.
NGOs legitimising Frontex
Frontex has a Consultative Forum, which “brings together key European institutions, international and civil society organisations to advise the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Fundamental rights matters.” Instead of having a serious role in addressing Frontex’ role in human rights violations, this forum acts as a tool to legitimize the existence of Frontex and these violations, by providing the agency with the appearance of approval and in-house control mechanisms.
Research and resources:
- The Frontex Files: TV show ZDF Magazin Royale explains what Frontex is, and how it interacts with defence and security lobbyists.
- Frontex Observatory: Statewatch observatory to analyse and document the role and activities of Frontex.
- Guarding the fortress: The role of Frontex in the militarisation and securitisation of migration flows in the European Union (2019)
The report focuses on 19 Frontex operations run by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (hereafter Frontex) to explore how the agency is militarising borders and criminalising migrants, undermining fundamental rights to freedom of movement and the right to asylum. Full report available in English and Spanish
- The Frontex Public Register of Documents: a database of over 1000 Frontex documents, obtained through freedom of information and leaks.
- Knowledge worker and activist Matthias Monroy regularly writes about developments regarding Frontex.
- Frontexit: The site for the campaign which brought together 19 associations, researchers and individuals from civil society in the North and South of the Mediterranean (Belgium, Cameroon, France, Italy, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, International organizations, European and Euro-African networks). The collective is coordinated by Migreurop and EuroMed Rights.
- The Black Book of Pushbacks, Volume I and Volume II: the Border Violence Monitoring Network brings together a wealth of evidence on these violations, analysing in detail the way that these brutal acts have become systematised at the external border.
- EU Border Agency Frontex Complicit in Greek Refugee Pushback Campaign, Spiegel, Lighthouse Reports, Bellingcat, ARD, TV Asahi (October 2020)
- Frontex’s History of Handling Abuse Evidence Dogs Balkan Expansion, Balkan Insight (February 2020)
- Frontex, an outlaw agency?, ARTE (February 2020)
- ‘Inhumane’ Frontex forced returns going unreported, euobserver (September 2019)
- Once migrants on Mediterranean were saved by naval patrols. Now they have to watch as drones fly over, The Guardian (August 2019)
- Frontex under pressure – an EU agency and how to deal with human rights, ARD (August 2019)
- Shoot First – Coast Guard Fired at Migrant Boats, European Border Agency Documents Show, The Intercept (August 2016)
|The aim of #AbolishFrontex is not to reform or improve Frontex, or to replace it with more of the same. Instead, we are targeting the policies and system that keeps Frontex in place. We are working towards the dismantling of the border-industrial complex, and the building of a society where people are free to move and live.