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EP civil liberties committee against proposal to give Frontex powers to assist non-EU states with deportations
13.2.19
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The European Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) has agreed its position for negotiations with the Council on the new Frontex Regulation, and amongst other things it hopes to deny the border agency the possibility of assisting non-EU states with deportations.

The position agreed by the LIBE committee removes Article 54(2) of the Commission's proposal, which says:

"The Agency may also launch return interventions in third countries, based on the directions set out in the multiannual strategic policy cycle, where such third country requires additional technical and operational assistance with regard to its return activities. Such intervention may consist of the deployment of return teams for the purpose of providing technical and operational assistance to return activities of the third country."

The report was adopted by the committee with 35 votes in favour, nine against and eight abstentions.

When the Council reaches its position on the proposal, the two institutions will enter into secret 'trilogue' negotiations, along with the Commission.

Although the proposal to reinforce Frontex was only published last September, the intention is to agree a text before the European Parliament elections in May.

The explanatory statement in the LIBE committee's report (see below) says:

"The Rapporteur proposes a number of amendments that should enable the Agency to better achieve its enhanced objectives. It is crucial that the Agency has the necessary border guards and equipment at its disposal whenever this is needed and especially that it is able to deploy them within a short timeframe when necessary."

European Parliament: Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders (Press release, link):

"- A new standing corps of 10 000 operational staff to be gradually rolled out
- More efficient return procedures of irregular migrants
- Strengthened cooperation with non-EU countries

New measures to strengthen the European Border and Coast Guard to better address migratory and security challenges were backed by the Civil Liberties Committee."

See: REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Council Joint Action n°98/700/JHA, Regulation (EU) n° 1052/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EU) n° 2016/1624 of the European Parliament and of the Council (pdf)

The Commission's proposal and its annexes can be found here.

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