The European Union’s border agency, Frontex, has urged the European Union to provide clearer rules on striking a balance between the human rights of asylum seekers and greater border protection.
The request from the agency responsible for overseeing border control status and preventing human trafficking and smuggling, follows accusations from the EU ombudsman that the agency is failing to meet transparency requirements, TheSchengen.com reports.
This is not the first time Frontex has faced such accusations, as it has previously been criticized for human rights violations and returns, with the most recent cases under review being those reported in Lithuania, where authorities sent migrants from the Middle East to Belarus.
In order to highlight the situation in the Baltic country, the President of Frontex, Fabrice Leggerie, called for a greater “clarification” of the European Union.
Stressing that there are no clear guidelines on what they can and cannot do to monitor the border, Leggeri said the EU needs to “strike a balance between banning illegal transit while maintaining access to international protection”.
Speaking about the borders of Lithuania and Belarus, Leggeri said that some of the illegal crossings are outside the scope of the EU’s established border control regulations. Therefore, Leggeri said that within its powers, Frontex can only comply with basic human rights that have already been established. At the moment, there is a right to “receive international protection”, but not to protect asylum seekers.
Data from the agency reveals that the flow of illegal immigration has increased significantly in 2021, reaching 200,000 cases, which is the highest rate of illegal immigration since 2017.
The number of detections increased, accounting for more than a third (36 percent) of all discoveries recorded in 2019 and 57 percent more than in 2020. In addition, the nationalities with the largest number of detections include Syrians, Tunisians, Moroccans and Algerians and Afghans.
While the Central Mediterranean route, which consists of Spain and Italy, is the most affected route, with 65,362 discoveries coming from Libyan, Tunisian and Turkish shores and an increase of 83 percent compared to the corresponding time last year, illegal border land border crossings Eastern, which has been folded ten times since 2020. This route, which includes the Baltic states and the situation with Belarus, the number of border crossings is 8000 in 2021.
Previous news TheSchengen.com reported related accusations against Frontex, the European Union’s border control agency, including:
>> Hungarian Helsinki Committee accuses Frontex of complicity in push-backs of migrants at the Hungarian border