Is Frontex tend to burn bridges with NGOs?


Frontex, EU’s Border and Coastguard Agency, has accused NGOs  of ineffectively cooperating with security agencies against human traffickers.  Fabrice Leggeri, the chief of Frontex, implies that the NGOs are controlling 40% of human rescuing operations at the sea off Libya and they don’t tend to show to sharing datas about rescue operations, and it creates a powerful barrier to reach the route of human smugglers according to claims of Frontex.

Actually, the accusations of Frontex were not bringing a new arguments and proofs related with NGO-Human smugglers cooperation  since 2016. Frontex’s accusations had been found as provocative by  NGOs,related rescuing operations at Med. NGOs defend themselves with showing the their high rate portion at rescuing operations and declaring their budge and donors. Also they said “we have nothing to hide”. Recently,  Italian NGOs especially  MSF, Medecins San Frontieres, accuses Frontex and the EU of lack of attempt on rescuing operations at the Med with strong allegations.

NGOs  had reacted  to Frontex’s accusation with remembering the  international sea law “If there is a boat in distress, we are obliged to help, but also a potential smuggler is also obliged to help.

The debate between Frontex and NGOs looks like ongoing process with mutual accusations; Frontex will maintain its accusation against attitudes of NGOs related to  sea operations and data sharing with them and NGOs will insist on  sea operations at Med and incoordination with Frontex.


You can check our report upon the EU-Libya deal for the Mediterranean:


Doğukan Doğu
Bogazici University
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