Frontex: should it be abolished or reformed?

After the European border management agency Frontex has come under fire several times in recent months for its involvement in illegal pushbacks, a report by the European Court of Auditors has once again cast the institution in a very unfavourable light. The report concludes that the agency is performing its tasks so inadequately that one should examine whether it should continue to exist at all. Commentators are divided.

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Le Vif / L'Express (BE) /

End the violence

The EU border management agency is based on a shameful refugee policy and should be scrapped, the Abolish Frontex alliance argues in a commentary piece in Le Vif/L'Express:

“This policy is based on a discourse that makes migration a security problem and presents desperate people trying to flee as a threat. It was drawn up in close cooperation with the arms and security industries, which reap billions in profits from it. This policy does not protect lives. ... It encourages the rise of the far right across Europe and draws on centuries of colonialism, oppression and exploitation. ... At the same time, the European Union continues to contribute to the root causes of migration, from arms exports to resource extraction and its responsibility in the climate crisis.”

El País (ES) /

Transparency is key to success

The example of the ECB shows that centralised institutions don't always meet with rejection, El País counters:

“The European border security system must be subjected to a fundamental restructuring as soon as possible. ... Frontex needs to earn the trust of both the national authorities and the public. The experience with the ECB, which also got off to a bumpy start, proves that the centralisation of policy areas traditionally reserved for national sovereignty is possible and can be successful, but only if it is based on transparency and subject to adequate scrutiny by supervisory powers.”