Statewatch News Online, 26 March 2012 Launch of Frontex Observatory


Established in 2006 by Regulation 2004/2007, Frontex is the European Agency for the Management of the External Borders of the European Union. It coordinates and organises with Member States high-tech border control operations at sea, land and air external borders of the EU, and carries out joint return flights of irregular migrants. Its mandate was revised in 2011. Since its inception, Frontex has been criticised for its lack of transparency and accountability.

Statewatch’s Frontex Observatory will analyse and document the role and activities of Frontex

It provides a unique source of understanding of the Agency’s operations and activities, bringing  together legal, political, analytical documents from a variety of sources. Regularly updated, the Observatory allows for a contextualised understanding of Frontex’s development over the years and throws light on the main issues at stake with regards to civil liberties and fundamental rights. Divided into six sections, the Observatory will be particularly useful to researchers, civil society organisations, academics, students, journalists, lawyers, and parliamentarians.

? What is Frontex’s exact mandate? All decisions constituting the legal framework of the Agency’s activities, including a unique consolidated version of the amended 2004/2007 Regulation, are available in this section.

? Official documentation: Current and ongoing official documentation regarding Frontex by the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the Ombudsman, the Council of Europe and court decisions.

? News: A selection of news articles examining the work and activities of Frontex

? Analysis and opinion: The Agency has been playing a central role in the EU‘s border management since its inception and has therefore been under the close scrutiny of many institutions and civil society organisations looking at the civil liberties and human rights aspects of its work (data protection, use of force, interception and deportation of migrants).

? Other EU policy areas involving Frontex: Frontex was given increasing powers and plays a significant role in the implementation of different security policies and measures developed in this section (e.g. establishment of the European borders surveillance system EUROSUR; Internal Security Strategy).

? Frontex publications: The Observatory facilitates access to Frontex’s documents, some of them not being available on its website.

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