Border agency Frontex accused by campaigners and MEPs of evading its responsibilities towards people in distress


The EU has been accused of condemning migrants to death by critics of its recent €100m (£90m) deals for drone surveillance over the Mediterranean Sea.

Campaigners and MEPs have accused the EU’s border agency Frontex of investing in technology to monitor migrants from afar and skirt its responsibilities towards people in distress.

Frontex is already under fire after an investigation last week accused it of complicity in often dangerous pushbacks aimed at preventing asylum seekers crossing the Aegean Sea.

The agency has denied knowledge of, or involvement in, pushbacks. On Tuesday it launched an internal inquiry, pushed for by EU commissioner Ylva Johansson after reports in the Guardian, but said it had yet to find any evidence of violations.

Wim Zwijnenburg, who works on disarmament for the Dutch peace organisation Pax, said EU policymakers had developed a “technology fetish” about watching its borders. “Are they putting the same amount of money into responding?” he said. “Are we going to now have more cameras in the sky to watch people drown in the Mediterranean?

“We have all these eyes in the sky, but we don’t have hands on the sea.” […]

The Guardian | 28.10.2020

„EU accused of abandoning migrants to the sea with shift to drone surveillance“