25.09.2021 - 11:30 Uhr
SO36, Oranienstraße 190, 10999 Berlin

Quo vadis Frontex? - Reform, control or abolish?

Panel discussions on the illegal activities of the EU border agency and its glaring control deficit

Criticism of practices that violate human rights has accompanied the "European Border and Coast Guard Agency", or "Frontex" - since its founding in 2004. From its involvement in illegal pushbacks to its cooperation with the so-called "Libyan Coast Guard": in addition to the reports of those affected and eyewitnesses, extensive video material provides evidence of these practices. Finally, the EU Parliament created the Frontex Scrutiny Group to investigate.

According to the group´s report, Frontex is aware of illegal activities in the Mediterranean, but does not intervene. Moreover, the report states that agency head Fabrice Leggeri has removed incriminating material. With unparalleled cynicism, the agency now comments that the MEPs could not prove Frontex had engaged in illegal activities. However, this was not the task of the committee.

The lack of will to investigate or admit wrongdoing or to ensure basic human rights is part of the agency's modus operandi. Frontex puts the protection of borders above the protection of people who are in danger. Nevertheless, Leggeri always manages to wriggle out of the accusations, no sanctions have been imposed so far and the agency continues to expand. As per its regulation, Frontex is independent, its director may not take instructions from the member states or the Commission. This has created a legal vacuum for the agency.

At the same time, the power of the Frontex director continues to grow: planes and drones for aerial surveillance under its own control, a fleet of vehicles with surveillance technology, a new armed border force under Leggeri's command.

Why is it so difficult to indict and prosecute the illegal activities of the agency? To whom is Frontex actually accountable? What are Leggeri's new narratives and how can we debunk them?

borderline-europe – Human rights without borders e.V. invites you for a two-part event in Berlin on 25th September 2021. We will discuss with activists and experts who are confronted with the practices of Frontex at various EU external borders and in different fields of work. Together we then want to show possibilities of civil resistance.

Panel 1: Current border practices of Frontex
Situation reports from the EU external borders, on the new mandate and technical equipment of the agency

Bérénice Gaudin (Sea-Watch Airborne)
Milena Zajovic (Are You Syrious/ Border Violence Monitoring Network)
Petra Molnar (Associate Director, Refugee Law Lab, York University)
Phevos Simeonidis (Disinfaux Collective)
Moderation: Vera Deleja-Hotko (investigative Journalistin, FragDenStaat), Matthias Monroy

Panel 2: Tactics of civil resistance against Frontex
On the interlocking of political, legal, and practical struggles against the agency's activities and its new narratives

Luisa Izuzquiza (Frag den Staat)
Omer Shatz (Lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, Legal Director of Front-Lex)
Bernd Kasparek (
Amandine Bach (Political Advisor, Frontex Scrutiny Group)
Moderation: Matija Vlatković (ECCHR), Niamh Ní Bhriain (TNI Amsterdam)

To attend in person, register here:
For live stream visit our website

Zur Veranstaltung

28.09.2021 - 18:00 Uhr
Haus der Statistik (Otto-Braun-Straße 70-72, 10178 Berlin)

Citizen of Moria - Why #LeaveNoOneBehind?

What is it like to live in a Greek ‘Hotspot-camp’ for several years? In the documentary "Citizen of Moria", film producer Ahmad Ebrahimi describes everyday life in the camp and shows how the residents deal with the prevailing inhumane conditions. After fleeing from Afghanistan, Ahmad Ebrahimi ends up in Moria on the island of Lesvos. There, he finds himself confronted with the failure of European migration policy. Background information on the political emergence and function of hotspot camps is provided by the exhibition "Why #LeaveNoOneBehind?", which is accessible before and after the event. In four thematic blocks, the exhibition deals with the situation in the camps on the Greek islands using the example of Moria. It describes the history of the camp, sheds light on the catastrophic living conditions and points at alternatives to the European policy of isolation. After the film screening, we will talk to both producers of the film: Jawad Mir and Ahmad Ebrahimi.

The open-air event will take place at Werkstatt am Haus der Statistik (Karl-Marx-Allee 1). In case of bad weather conditions, we will move to the Musterhaus (Autoscooter) (car park Berolinastraße 22, 10178 Berlin). The Musterhaus der Statistik in the former Autoscooter offers a roofed event space.

Speakers: Jawad Mir and Ahmad Ebrahimi
Moderation: Lisa Westhäuser

6 pm - Entrance and opening of the exhibition "Why #LeaveNoOneBehind?
7 pm - Start of the film screening followed by a film discussion

The film and the subsequent film discussion will be in English. The exhibition texts are written in German.

Film trailer:

In cooperation with Nomadenkino and Bildungswerk Berlin der Heinrich-Böll Stiftung. Realised with funds from the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin.