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Wednesday, 23 April 2008 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Illegal immigration, external action of the European Union and Frontex (debate)

  Cem Özdemir, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – (DE) Madam President, since the establishment of the European border security agency, Frontex, the implementation of the European work programmes has been proceeding effectively and according to plan. Nonetheless, my Group has been extremely concerned, since the adoption of the Frontex Regulation, about the serious incidents in the Mediterranean area, in which people who have set out in search of a better life often lose their lives in the attempt.

We therefore have some questions which we would like to put to the Council. One of these questions is this: has Frontex fully incorporated human rights obligations into its existing regulatory provisions and practices? Or, to be a little more precise and candid: can the Council and Commission guarantee that the EU Member States which receive the support of Frontex are meeting all of their obligations under international law and the international convention in relation to the security and monitoring of their external borders?

The published statistics from Frontex relate solely to the number of migrants who have been prevented from entering the European Union. There are no statistics concerning the number of asylum seekers apprehended, and nor is it clear how they have been treated. We would like to know whether there are any statistics on the number of asylum seekers apprehended. If so, why have these figures not yet been made public?

Finally, if an asylum seeker is apprehended, what role does Frontex play in relation to the coordination of the asylum application? Where are these applications examined? Which mechanisms are in place to guarantee that an application is thoroughly examined before the asylum seeker is sent back?

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