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Press release

Make it easier for migrants to complain about Frontex border guards, MEP say

Fundamental rights - 24-11-2015 - 11:45
Committees : Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs / Petitions
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MEPs want Frontex to set up a complaints mechanism on alleged breaches of fundamental rights© EU 2014

Frontex rescue operation in action in the Mediterranean sea.

The EU’s Frontex border agency should set up a mechanism to process individual complaints about alleged breaches of the fundamental rights of migrants and asylum seekers, say MEPs in a joint resolution voted by the Civil Liberties and Petitions committees on Monday. MEPs want the the European Commission to include provisions for this mechanism in a review of the Frontex regulation, due in December.

The draft resolution, passed by 62 votes to 11 with 6 abstentions, backs the European Ombudsman’s 2012 recommendation that Frontex set up a complaints mechanism on alleged breaches of fundamental rights.

Enable complaints against any border guards wearing the Frontex emblem

MEPs say the mechanism should become a first-instance body for complaints, and recommend that all persons acting under the Frontex emblem should wear a visible name or identification number on their uniforms.

All persons who feel harmed by border guards wearing the Frontex emblem should have the right to submit a complaint, MEPs propose. They add that third parties should also be able to submit complaints on behalf of bona fide complainants, but to prevent misuse of the complaints mechanism, they recommend that anonymous complaints should not be accepted.

Need for additional resources and special protection for vulnerable groups

MEPs call for additional resources to be allocated to ensure that the Frontex Fundamental Rights Office is adequately equipped and staffed to handle complaints. They also stress the need for special protection of unaccompanied minors, women victims of gender-based persecution, LGBTI persons and other vulnerable groups.

Next steps

The draft resolution will be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole on 2 December, in Brussels, ahead of the European Commission’s presentation of the review of the Frontex regulation.

Note to editors


The European Ombudsman’s recommendation that Frontex set up a mechanism for dealing with complaints about fundamental rights infringements arising from its work was made in a special report submitted to Parliament following the Ombudsman’s 2012 own-initiative inquiry on Frontex’s fundamental rights obligations.


An EU regulation of 2011 requires Frontex to act in accordance with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and to make administrative arrangements to promote and monitor compliance with the charter.


REF.: 20151123IPR03979