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2nd Apr 2023

Ex-Frontex chief 'uninvited' from parliament committee

  • Leggeri resigned in April as the head of the EU's border force Frontex (Photo: European Parliament)
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Fabrice Leggeri, the former head of the EU's border police Frontex, sought to attend a European Parliament committee meeting in mid-July.

But a majority of coordinators sitting on the budgetary control committee, where he wanted to appear, have told him to stay away.

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The parliament's budgetary control committee supervises how the EU institutions and its agencies spend money.

In May, the European Parliament refused to sign off on the agency's budget due to a slew of problems under Leggeri's command.

Other MEPs on the committee, including Dutch liberal Sophie In't Veld, were also unhappy about Leggeri trying to invite himself to their meeting.

"I have protested as I think the whole thing is entirely inappropriate," she said, in an email last week.

Leggeri had wanted to come to the committee's meeting on 13 July, presumedly to defend himself against a report from the EU's anti-fraud office, Olaf.

The Olaf probe reportedly dug into illegal pushbacks of migrants and asylum seekers and is set to issue possibly two more reports on Frontex.

Leggeri had resigned over the affair in late April amid claims of surreptitious rule changes in the agency's mandate.

German centre-right MEP Monika Hohlmeier, who is the committee's chair, does not rule out future talks with Leggeri.

But her office said the 13 July session will not be dealing with the agency's past, where his input could be of some use.

"It is more about the future of where the agency is heading rather than again discussing the past," said her office.

"For the future we might invite him if we have a meeting discussing the past. We always put the question to the coordinators," it said.

The agency's current acting head Aija Kalnaja, who earlier this year told European lawmakers that Frontex had been left traumatised by Leggeri's legacy, is also set to attend the 13 July session.

So too is the chair of the agency's management board, Alexander Fritsch, as well as a senior European Commission official from DG Home, the branch which deals with migration issues.

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Fabrice Leggeri took on the role of the executive director of #Frontex in 2015. He posted a resignation letter earlier this week. Another senior official, Thibauld de la Haye Jousselin, may also have resigned.

Frontex left 'traumatised' says caretaking leadership

Aija Kalnaja took over Frontex as a caretaker after its executive director Fabrice Leggeri resigned last month. On Monday, she promised more transparency and better management of the Warsaw-based agency.

Frontex caretaker leader could face EU court

Lawyers at front-LEX, a Dutch-based civil society organisation, are threatening legal action against EU border agency Frontex unless it suspends operations in Greece.

Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Terezija Gras from Croatia, Dutchman Hans Leijtens, and Frontex's current interim executive director Aija Kalnaja, are all competing for a job left vacant by the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri.

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