Former EU Border Force Chief Claims Some Trying to Turn Agency into ‘Humanitarian’ Group

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 16, 2021 Fabrice Leggeri, head of the EU's border agency Frontex, poses for a photo at the Frontex headquarters in Warsaw. - The head of Frontex, Frenchman Fabrice Leggeri, submitted on April 29, 2022 his resignation from the European coast guard and …

Fabrice Leggeri, the former head of the European Union border agency Frontex, has claimed that some want the agency to behave as a humanitarian group, rather than act in their mandate as a policing force on the EU border.

Leggeri, who resigned as the head of Frontex over an investigation by the Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) into alleged migrant pushbacks, spoke earlier this week to the French Senate, claiming that the agency had investigated allegations of pushbacks and that Frontex had found no evidence its agents were involved in violations of fundamental rights.

However, Leggeri stated that he felt the OLAF investigation showed others had a different interpretation of the mandate of Frontex saying, “The mandate of the agency in which I joined as executive director in 2015 is to be a European border police force, which supports member states in border control,” French broadcaster Public Sénat reports.

“Some believe that the Agency’s role is to be a body that verifies how the Member States apply fundamental rights at borders,” he said and added, “Some would have liked to make it rather an agency that is more concerned with monitoring member states in fundamental rights or a humanitarian agency. But the role of this Agency as the European legislator wanted it is still rather to police the borders of the States.”

While Frontex has been accused of migrant pushbacks, other reports have claimed the agency has been given too many responsibilities and too few resources to be effective at its mission, despite Frontex’s annual budget of €900 million.

Frontex is set to greatly expand in the coming years, growing to at least 27,000 officers in 2027 and has become the European Union’s first “uniformed service.”

Frontex, which also monitors the number of illegal immigrants crossing into the European Union, has stated that 2022 has seen levels not seen since the migrant crisis in 2016 and a recent report claimed illegal arrivals are up over 80 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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