EU ombudman Emily O'Reilly | Photo: EP
EU ombudman Emily O'Reilly | Photo: EP

The EU ombudsman's office has drawn up recommendations for EU border agency Frontex. This follows an assessment on whether and how the EU agency is meeting its human rights and transparency obligations.

Frontex should provide more transparency with regards to its operating plans and improve its monitoring of forced repatriations, EU ombudsman Emily O'Reilly recommended in a recently published report assessing the record of the EU border agency on human rights.

The EU ombudsman is an independent agency that investigates complaints about wrongdoing against EU institutions.

Clear, transparent rules on repatriations

The ombudsman urged Frontex to "ensure a more proactive approach to transparency", including "summaries of operational plans" with regard to human rights concerns.

O'Reilly and her agency recommended that Frontex publish "its rules on how the Executive Director takes decisions to suspend, terminate or withdraw the financing for Frontex activities for which there are fundamental rights concerns."

In relation to forced repatriation, the report urged Frontex to use training or other means available to make it clear to monitors that they must report every single incident regardless of whether it concerns those working for the member state they have been tasked with monitoring, another state or Frontex itself.

Improve migrant screening process

The ombudsman also assessed the Frontex guidelines for the screening process for migrants: They asked Frontex to provide a timeline for the process, to publish more details on the registration of minors and to document the answers to questions asked during the process. The Frontex officials should also ensure the presence of cultural experts during the screening interviews, the onbudsman recommended.

 

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