16th Aug 2022

Ex-Frontex chief 'uninvited' from parliament committee

  • Leggeri resigned in April as the head of the EU's border force Frontex (Photo: European Parliament)
Listen to article

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.

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

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.

Frontex chief tenders resignation

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.

Lampedusa: The invisible migrant crisis at Europe's gate

Last weekend, Italy's Lampedusa island was again making headlines for being overrun with migrants. But, paradoxically, the crisis was more visible from TV news bulletins and social media than from the ground.

News in Brief

  1. Zelensky vows to 'target' Russian soldiers at nuclear plant
  2. Putin vows greater cooperation with North Korea and Taliban
  3. Hungarian judge slams Orbán's rule-of-law attacks
  4. Borrell condemns 'despicable' Rushdie attack
  5. Slow wind-farm approvals risk green goals, warns industry
  6. Increase in people crossing Channel to UK in 2022
  7. Swedish government to toughen gang-crime penalties
  8. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Germany needs to cut gas use by 20% to stave off winter crisis
  2. Europe's wildfire destruction set to hit new record
  3. How Putin and Erdoğan are making the West irrelevant
  4. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  5. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  6. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  7. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  8. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us