Parliamentary question - O-000004/2017Parliamentary question

    Major interpellation - Cooperation between human traffickers and NGOs engaged in search and rescue in the Mediterranean

    Major interpellation for written answer with debate O-000004/2017/rev.1
    to the Commission
    Rule 130b
    Beatrix von Storch, on behalf of the EFDD Group

    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    Texts tabled :
    O-000004/2017 (B8-0206/2017)
    Votes :
    Texts adopted :

    On 15 December 2016 the Financial Times published several excerpts from leaked Frontex reports that suggest a high level of cooperation between smugglers and NGOs:

    – ‘… criminal networks were smuggling migrants directly on an NGO vessel.’

    – ‘… clear indications before departure on the precise direction to be followed in order to reach the NGOs’ boats.’

    – ‘… people rescued by NGO vessels were often “not willing to co-operate with debriefing experts at all” with some claiming “that they were warned not to co-operate with Italian law enforcement or Frontex”.’

    This period has also witnessed a surge in NGO activity in the region and a sharp drop in rescues in response to distress signals. Frontex suggested that the latter is due to ‘NGOs operating closer to Libyan territorial waters, or even the lights used by rescue boats, which – the agency said – acted “as a beam for the migrants”’.

    Does the Commission believe that such actions constitute cooperation with smugglers, and if not, could it define what would?

    Does it believe that such actions constitute collusion, and if not, could it define what would?

    Does the EU provide any financial assistance to NGOs engaged in search and rescue in the Mediterranean?