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Parliamentary questions
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12 February 2021
P-000881/2021
Priority question for written answer  P-000881/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D), Dietmar Köster (S&D), Bettina Vollath (S&D), Maria Grapini (S&D), Łukasz Kohut (S&D), Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), Kati Piri (S&D), Milan Brglez (S&D), Pietro Bartolo (S&D), Sylvie Guillaume (S&D), Giuliano Pisapia (S&D), Isabel Santos (S&D)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Widespread pushbacks at the EU’s external borders

On 30 January 2021, Le Monde published an article entitled ‘EU accused of illegal pushbacks’(1), describing widespread pushbacks at the EU’s external borders, including in Hungary, Croatia and Greece, all countries where Frontex has been operational. The article notes that according to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Hungary has carried out 50 000 pushbacks since 2016. Despite the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling of 17 December 2020 establishing that the Hungarian legal regime violates the right of asylum, the Hungarian Government has continued with these practices. On 8 February 2021, Le Monde published the article ‘New accusations against EU agency Frontex’(2), describing the lack of consideration for fundamental rights at Frontex and noting that the Fundamental Rights Forum has hardly ever been consulted.

1. Since 2015, has Frontex informed the Commission and the Frontex Management Board of any cases of pushbacks in Hungary or in the other countries cited in the article?

2. What monitoring mechanisms does the Commission have at its disposal to identify illegal pushbacks, particularly in Hungary, now that Frontex has suspended its operations there?

3. Given that legal certainty was established by the CJEU ruling of 17 December 2020, how will the Commission use the instruments at its disposal to ensure compliance with the rule of law in the EU?

(1)‘L’UE accusée de refoulements illégaux’ [EU accused of illegal pushbacks], Le Monde, 30 January 2021.
(2)‘Nouvelles accusations contre l'agence européene Frontex’ [New accusations against EU agency Frontex], Le Monde, 8 February 2021.
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