Frontex head refuses to step down amid ongoing investigation

67




Fabrice Leggeri, the pinnacle of Europe’s Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) is refusing to stop his publish amid an ongoing investigation over the physique’s position in unlawful migrant pushbacks. 
“Mr. Leggeri has no plans to resign and remains determined to lead the agency in these challenging times,” a Frontex spokesperson informed New Europe in an emailed assertion.
When requested in regards to the stance of the administration board, which represents the border authorities of the member states, in the direction of the Frontex Executive Director, the spokesperson mentioned that “it has not raised any objections to his leadership.” 
He added that Leggeri nonetheless enjoys the help of the EU Executive, because the Commission’s Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson “have expressed confidence in Mr. Leggeri at many occasions in recent months.”
In December, EU lawmakers referred to as for Leggeri’s resignation, following the publication of a report by the German newspaper Der Spiegel in October, titled “EU Border Agency Frontex Complicit in Greek Refugee Pushback Campaign,” which discovered that video and different publicly accessible information counsel Frontex “assets were actively involved in one pushback incident at the Greek-Turkish maritime border in the Aegean Sea.” 
Greece and Turkey represent key transit factors for migrants in search of to cross into Europe, of their effort to flee battle or prosecution. Under worldwide regulation, pushbacks are thought of to be breaching worldwide rules, in circumstances the place migrants are expelled or returned to a rustic the place their life and security is perhaps at risk for causes associated to their race, faith, nationality, or membership in a social group or political opinion.
The Executive Director has “lost” MEPs’ belief, as he didn’t present ample explanations on the involvement of Frontex in unlawful practices, severely harming the physique’s repute, MEPs from the Socialists and Democrats (S&Ds) mentioned. 
Last week, EU’s anti-fraud workplace (OLAF) opened an investigation into Frontex into allegations of harassment and misconduct and into allegations of unlawful migrant pushbacks, whereas it additionally raided the workplaces of Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri, in addition to his head of Cabinet Thibauld de La Haye Jousselin in December, in line with a report by Kathimerini.