MEP discusses changes to Frontex at EU border strategy workshop

MEP Simon Busuttil addressed a workshop organised by the Brussels-based Centre of European Policy Studies (CEPS) on the forthcoming review of the Frontex agency.

Referring to the controversial Frontex missions that until recently operated in the central Mediterranean region, Busuttil said: "There is general agreement that Frontex should save all people who are in distress. What is not clear is who will take responsibility for these people once they are saved. I fully understand why some Member States are reluctant to see Frontex turn into a ferry-service which burdens individual Member States with a problem which is European in nature." Dr Busuttil said.

The workshop was discussing the future of the EU's integrated border management strategy.

During his address, Busuttil, who is rapporteur of the European Parliament on the review of the Frontex regulation, explained the contents of Commission proposal and also discussed the current state of play on the controversial Frontex guidelines which were approved earlier this year but ended up challenged in court.

The guidelines determine the location where people saved by the Frontex missions should be disembarked.

Busuttil also spoke of other challenges which he may be facing namely on making sure that there would be financial backing for the new capacities that would be given to Frontex, such as that of the agency acquiring its own equipment.

The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Law, Science, Technology and Society (LSTS), within the context of INEX, a three-year project funded by the Security Programme of DG Enterprise of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Research Programme. Its aim was to critically examine current initiatives and future proposals shaping the second generation of the EU’s Integrated Border Management strategy for the common external borders.

Dr Busuttil is European Parliament rapporteur on the Frontex agency and also EPP coordinator on justice and home affairs.

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The only change the great majority of Maltese citizens want is for Frontex to push back the illegal immigrants boats back to Libya and to send all illegal immigrants in Malta back back to Libya or to their own countries.