More effective Frontex is good news for Malta and the rest of EU - Busuttil

Nationalist MEP Simon Busuttil has said there will be a zero-tolerance approach to human rights violations under the new Frontex mandate.

Addressing a press conference following the approval of his report, Busuttil said Frontex – the EU’s external borders agency – had suffered from bad publicity and negative perceptions ever since it was set up back in 2004.

“There was a general feeling that Frontex was allowing people to drown at sea... I think this was not a fair assessment of Frontex. Frontex and frontier member states do a lot to save lives at sea, and it would add insult to injury to accuse them of letting people drown,” Busuttil said.

Busuttil also said he hoped that Frontex would become a more effective agency not just for Malta, which like Italy had suffered the brunt of migratory fluxes from Libya in past years, but for all frontier states.

“If there’s a lesson to be learnt this year from the tensions inside Schengen, it’s that our external borders are not simply those of one country, but of the common concern [for all states].

“And because it is of common concern that we should feel a sense of responsibility whenever there is a great wave of immigration, whether it is taking place on Lampedusa, Malta, or Greece or Turkey.”

The MEP, who is also the European People’s Party special rapporteur on immigration, said that the agency will be reporting annually on the items and human resources pooled by each member states, and keep them to account on their pledges to the border agency.

“We have reached a fair compromise with the Council... Frontex will have more visibility, more effectiveness, respect for human rights and more democratic scrutiny,” Busutti said.

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Stop deceiving the people, Busuttil. Why not inform them, as Cecilia Malmstrom was forced to do last August on BBC's HardTalk, that "Frontex is not there to push back people" but to assist and facilitate the asylum process... She even repeated it for clarity: "Frontex is not there to hinder people from coming..." So tell us, Busuttil - what type of 'more effective Frontex' are you talking about? We do NOT need lying apparatchik MEPs like you, Busuttil. We need REAL representatives. Stop this deceit!