Monday

10th May 2021

Exclusive

Frontex suspends operations in Hungary

The EU's border agency, Frontex, is suspending operations in Hungary.

"The head of Frontex has already made up his mind and will suspend all activities in Hungary," an EU official told EUobserver on Wednesday (27 January).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

A spokesperson from the Warsaw-based agency said Frontex is "still evaluating" its role in Hungary. Post-publication of this article, the spokesperson confirmed, noting that "Frontex is suspending its activities in Hungary."

The move comes after Hungary has continued to push back migrants into Serbia - in violation of a European Court of Justice ruling in December.

Those violations are being carefully documented by the Budapest-based NGO, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

In a tweet, it said Hungary had pushed back over 4,400 people since the December ruling by the EU's top court.

Given the violations, the NGO had demanded Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri to withdraw its border forces from Hungary.

"By continuing to participate in border surveillance and border protection activities, Frontex risks being complicit," it said, in a letter.

The European Commission earlier this month, in a letter to Hungary, demanded responses from the government in Budapest.

"We haven't yet received a reply," said a European Commission spokesperson, earlier this week.

EUobserver understands that the Commission had also asked Frontex's management board, alongside with other members, to pull out of Hungary.

For its part, the Hungarian government had previously said that it needed to continue to carry out the expulsions due to Covid-related health risks.

Hungary 'ignoring EU court ruling on asylum'

The European Court of Justice last month ruled Hungary had breached EU asylum laws. Budapest was told to stop pushing asylum seekers back into Serbia - yet nearly 2,500 people have been forced across the border since that judgement.

EU to scrutinise Hungary 'ignoring asylum ruling'

The European Court of Justice told Hungary in December to stop forcing asylum seekers back into Serbia. The European Commission is now demanding Budapest follow the judgement - but Hungary has since reintroduced a special legal order, under Covid-19.

UN agency demands EU stop violence against migrants

The International Organization for Migration, an inter-governmental body related to the UN, is demanding the EU and member states put an end to illegal expulsions of people seeking asylum.

Feature

Frontex 'mislabelling minors as adults' on Greek islands

Lawyers in Greece accuse Frontex of incorrectly labeling minors as 'adults', a violation. Among them was 17-year old William, sent to the adult section of Moria, where he says he was abused. He was later able to prove his age.

News in Brief

  1. Lukashenko amends emergency transfer of power
  2. German centre-left picks Scholz as would-be chancellor
  3. EU has not ordered AstraZeneca vaccines beyond June
  4. Macron: Pandemic showed need for more EU integration
  5. Election win fuels Scottish nationalists' referendum plan
  6. Surge in migrant arrivals to Italian island
  7. EU embassy pays bail for Georgia opposition leader
  8. British aristocrats caught peddling Kremlin ties

EU commission calls Frontex its new 'Return Agency'

The EU's law enforcement agency Frontex has been helping member states return unwanted migrants. The European Commission now wants it to take a lead role, while hoping to boost the number of voluntary deportations.

Deadlock looms on EU's new asylum pact

MEPs working on the new EU-wide asylum reforms have cast doubt on whether agreement will be reached with their co-legislating member state counterparts. A proposal to create independent monitors on human rights is also on shaky ground.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. EU and US urge Israel to defuse Jerusalem violence
  2. Frontex 'mislabelling minors as adults' on Greek islands
  3. Has Albania really met the 15 tests to join the EU? No
  4. Vaccine fairness plus Russia on table This WEEK
  5. EU ambassadors flock to Red Square for Putin's parade
  6. MEPs win battle for bigger citizens' voice at Conference
  7. Hungary gags EU ministers on China
  8. Poland and Hungary push back on 'gender equality' pre-summit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us