Monthly Archives: July 2019

[InEUmanity] Frontex on a new mission: The new regulation thwarts human rights

We publish a text written by comrades from the campaign InEUmanity (also included in our new broschure):

On the 17th of April of 2019, the European Parliament adopted a new Regulation[1] radically reshaping the tasks, powers and organizational structures of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). The increased deportation of fugitives, the primary objective of which is laid down in the first article, is Europe’s only and brutal response to the still unresolved “migration issue”.

The initial situation is that from spring 2015 onwards more and more migrants came to Europe to seek protection, better living conditions or future prospects. However, the borders of the Balkan route open by the Schengen Code were practically closed in March 2016 in order to prevent arrivals from reaching the often desired Western European countries. The Non-Refoulment commandment[2] not to reject those in need of protection at their own borders is systematically violated in order to take account of the xenophobic shift to the right in the member states. Since then, there has been no forwards, no stays and no backsliding. For the fugitives this is a hopeless and indeed hopeless situation.

A solution in the form of a new European regulation of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) has been lying idle for a long time because the member states could not reach agreement. So the new regulation is supposed to resolve the “congestion” immediately and in the future.

The core element of Frontex’s new field of activity is to support third countries in deciding on the need for protection of refugees and to organize repatriations in the event of their refusal. In addition, there will be an increase in the staffing and financial resources of the Border Management Agency, as it will be given a more comprehensive remit to implement the measures. In concrete terms, this means an increase in staff to 10,000 (wo)men by 2027 and an increase in the budget for the period 2021-2027 to a total of 34.9 billion euros. Frontex is made up of agency staff (EU officials) and teams seconded from the Member States.

Until now, Frontex has only been active in member states of the Schengen area if a constitutional decision by this state on entry or stay in the country was available. Frontex can now also become active in third countries on its own initiative. Frontex is responsible for the preparation, provision of relevant information and advice on repatriation decisions and their implementation. The repatriation decision is therefore formally taken by the third country, which alone serves to circumvent the European protection of fundamental rights.

Frontex employees have a general authorization to carry out all border controls and measures relating to rejection, which are actually reserved for the respective states, which is an obvious breach of the Schengen Code. Access to an asylum procedure can therefore simply be thwarted. This is also to be expected, as the Member State Teams have no special training to be able to recognize the need for protection of people and the entire restructuring is aimed at preventing the entry of “illegal migrants”.

There is also talk of setting up “early warning systems”. On the basis of EUROSUR data sets and “risk analyses”, it is to be indicated when large crowds of people set off to cross the border illegally. The teams then have the task of preventing this. The rhetoric of the law thus leaves no doubt about the misanthropy of the whole project.

So-called controlled centres are to be set up to carry out these operations. The text of the law does not say whether they will be open or closed and whether they can also be set up in third countries. It is very likely that the centres in which asylum procedures are to be carried out within eight weeks will be as bad as the Greek and Italian hotspot camps in terms of congestion, miserable living conditions, systematic violations of the law and exclusion from social participation.

A liability gap also means that there is no legal protection for those affected. In third countries, civil servants are subject to directives issued by third countries which are not bound by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Although all states in Europe belong to the ECHR, it does not contain any right to asylum, so that no action can be brought before the ECHR regarding repatriation. An action before the European Court of Justice to review the legality of Frontex’s actions is impossible for the persons concerned, since the decision was formally taken by a non-EU state and the repatriation took place on its instructions.

In addition, the Regulation provides for the use of force (pepper spray, blows, as a last resort, the use of firearms) as a legitimate means of enforcing the tasks. However, if someone exceeds the limits of the proportionate use of force, criminal proceedings are also excluded: Frontex officials enjoy immunity in the third country, no complaint can be filed in the sending country and there is no European criminal procedure.

Even extrajudicial institutions do not promise any protection: A Commissioner for Fundamental Rights and a complaint mechanism for the prevention and clarification of human rights violations are largely ineffective, as this means a purely internal and thus not independent examination of incidents. When the regulation was adopted, MEPs focused above all on the Balkan countries in order to open up internal European borders. There is no regional restriction, however, so that nothing would stand in the way of application in Libya or Turkey in the future[3].

The regulation is argued on the basis of the absurd assumption that EU officials working in other countries are exporting their own standard of protection of fundamental rights. Their real aim, however, is to deport people from non-EU countries before they enter EU territory.

This was exemplified by the debate in the European Parliament, in which there was hardly any mention of the human rights of refugees. On the other hand, the importance of the internal openness of the EU was repeatedly stressed. Fugitives are thus (re)brought into unworthy life situations so that EU citizens can travel freely.

The Regulation is therefore a new expression of a racist and Eurocentric worldview. Even though the law repeatedly describes compliance with EU law, international law and human rights, its practical application, on the other hand, is an immanent violation of human rights. The adoption of this law makes visible the new quality of the shift to the right in the EU.



[2]“The Non-Refoulement Principle prohibits the extradition, expulsion or return of a person to another country if there are serious reasons for believing that the person concerned is at serious risk of torture or inhuman treatment or other very serious human rights violations in the country of destination. ; accessed 7.5.2019

[3]Further critical points are discussed by ECRE (; and ProAsyl in a detailed critique.

[Germany] Ellwangen and Donauwörth – two symbols for solidarity protest

Selforganized Migrant Protests, Police Raids and Random Prosecutions in German Refugee camps

In German Refugee Camps – especially in the very big initial registration camps – selforganized protests are happening on a daily basis. The people are demonstrating for better living conditions or acceptable food. Also, there is a lot of protests against the German asylum system, which is constructing unbearable situations for many Migrants, who are held in a state of structural paralysis, not being able to organize their lives or move autonomously. During large parts of the asylum process, they are forced to live in camps, not allowed to work, not allowed to cook on their own, only given very little money – actually less than what the German state defines as humane.

One of the biggest issues is the constant threat of deportation. Police is breaking into private rooms on a nightly basis, screaming and using physical violence in order to find people whom they want todeport. By now, many court decisions are confirming that such police operations are violating §§13 of German constitution which ensures the inviolability of the home.

The Migrants often oppose attempted deportations and police raids with protest and resistance. In Osnabrück, early summer of 2017, 200 people had to live in self organized camps in order to prevent deportations on their own. They installed observing shifts every night, so that people could see when the police approached. As soon as they saw a police car approaching, they blew a whistle that woke up everyone in the camp. All together they went outside and blocked the entrance. Police was not able to find the person they wanted to deport. With this method, they were able to prevent uncountable deportations. Cops did not succeed to enter the camp for more than 100 days.

In line with the ongoing worsening of the German asylum system, Migrants are more and more criminalized. Protests similar to that one in Osnabrück are often followed by a right media shitstorm and even more repression by the state. In some cases, even when people did not protest collectively, police and media simply make up fairy tales about mass actions, violence and resistance against police to justify massive raids and arbitrary attestations of Migrants.

In March 2018, police entered in the initial registration camp in Donau-Wörth, Bavaria, for deporting one person. The man was neither in his room, nor in the camp. Nobody resisted the police, some people simply argued that the police had no right to wake random people in the middle of the night because they searched a person. A fire alarm started.

The next day police raided the whole camp with 200 cops using physical violence, CS-gas and pepper spray. They randomly arrested 32 people, 30 of them were held in custody in isolation for 2 months, charged with disorderly conduct, bodily harm, assault and resistance against police. Some of the people were directly deported from prison to Italy. 7 persons succeeded in filing complaints against their penalty orders, 3 of them were deported, nevertheless. In November 2018, the first court case against 2 of the Migrants took place. The jury had to admit that there is no evidence for violent resistance against police. In spite of everything, the accusations were maintained. The accused people will take the case to the next instance.

Another case happened in April and May 2018 in an initial registration camp in Ellwangen, Baden-Würthemberg. In the middle of the night of 30th April, Police wanted to deport a person to Italy. When he refused to enter the police car, 30-40 people got aware of the situation and went outside to protest in solidarity with him, discussing with police about the inhumanity of the Dublin System. More and more people joined the protest and together they succeeded in stopping the deportation.

4 days later, a large-scale operation of 500 cops disturbed the whole camp. They broke in and raided several private rooms even though they had no order from the court. Thus, the whole operation was illegal. German rightwing people afterwards made up a story of violent protest by hundreds of Migrants attacking police. That story was copied by the mainstream media, legitimizing the excessive, unnecessary and illegal police operation, which actually had the single aim of criminalizing the Migrants. This criminalization peaked with 25 penalty orders against Migrants. Several people were put into custody. Many filed complaints against this penalty order. One person was released after 3 months of custody after having been acquitted finally of the charge of having attacked police. Another person was condemned to imprisonment of 6 months without probation because police asserted that he was hitting one officer 3 times against the helmet. With this case, the state wanted to set a deterring example for all Migrants protesting against deportations and police brutality.

The trial of 3 more people should have been in March 2019, but it was repealed as the court told the prosecution to do more investigations.

The two presented cases depict the arbitrariness in which police and state operate for criminalizing Migrants. Also, they are perfect examples of racism and racial profiling police is using on a daily basis, because all arrested Migrants are Black and police arrested them randomly because of their skin colour.