Statewatch has launched a new website to host all news and materials on the EU frontiers agency Frontex. www.statewatch.org/frontex documents and analyses the role and activities of Frontex, providing a unique source of understanding on the agency’s operations and activities.
Established in 2006 by EU Regulation 2004/2007, Frontex is the European Agency for the Management of the External Borders of the European Union. It coordinates and organises with European member states high-tech border control operations on the sea, land and air borders of the EU, and carries out joint return flights of irregular migrants. Frontex has been criticised since inception for a lack of transparency and accountability, and its mandate was revised in 2011.
Statewatch’s Frontex Observatory brings together legal, political, analytical documents from a variety of sources. It helps understand Frontex’s development over the years and throws light on the main civil-liberties issues at stake. The new website will be particularly useful to researchers, civil society organisations, academics, students, journalists, lawyers and parliamentarians.
The Observatory’s six sections are:
- What is Frontex’s exact mandate? All decisions constituting the legal framework of the Agency’s activities, including a unique consolidated version of the amended 2004/2007 EU Regulation, are available in this section.
- Official documentation: current and ongoing official documentation regarding Frontex from the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Ombudsman, the Council of Europe and court decisions.
- News: a selection of news articles examining the work and activities of Frontex.
- Analysis and opinion: the Agency has played a central role in the EU’s border management since its inception; it has therefore been under close scrutiny from many institutions and civil society organisations concerned with the civil liberties and human rights aspects of its work (data protection, use of force, interception and deportation of migrants).
- Other EU policy areas involving Frontex: Frontex was given increasing powers and plays a significant role in the implementation of different security policies and measures developed in this section (e.g. establishment of the European borders surveillance system EUROSUR; Internal Security Strategy).
- Frontex publications: the Observatory facilitates access to Frontex’s documents, including some not available on its website.