Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
Brussels, 21 October 2022
See question(s) : P-002815/2022
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
The Commission was in contact with the Greek authorities during the incident on the islet in the Evros river and followed developments closely. The entire group has been transferred to the Reception and Identification Centre of Fylakio. With regard to the Honourable Member’s question regarding the work of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the Commission has asked the Agency to provide the information requested by the Honourable Member. The Agency’s reply will be sent by the Commission to the Honourable Member as soon as possible.
Member States have an obligation under EU law to prevent and discourage unauthorised crossings of the EU external borders and to manage their border in compliance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter), which includes the right to asylum and the principle of non refoulement. In this context the Greek authorities informed the Commission of measures taken to ensure compliance with fundamental rights. This includes internal control procedures, investigations by independent authorities, and the possibility of Public Prosecutors to investigate allegations.
The Commission will continue working with the Greek authorities to monitor the progress made. The Commission is in close contact with all relevant Greek authorities to ensure full compliance with EU acquis on border management, asylum and return as well as the Charter’s provisions. As regards Turkey, the EU has been unequivocal in stressing the urgent need for Turkey to ensure the respect of fundamental rights. The EU will continue to raise its concerns with Turkish officials at all levels.

1 According to the new proposals, the Greek authorities will work further on a three tier set-up, relying on:
a) internal control procedures tasked with the investigation and prosecution of criminal acts arising in the context of operations by the Hellenic Police or the Hellenic Coastguard, b) investigations by independent authorities such as the Greek Ombudsman and the National Transparency Authority, and c) the possibility of public prosecutors to investigate allegations, following a relevant complaint or press and NGO reports. Most recently, following discussions between Commissioner Johansson and the responsible Ministers in Greece on 30 June 2022, the Greek authorities adopted legal provisions that include the establishment of a Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) position and a specific Committee on Fundamental Rights monitoring within the Ministry for Migration and Asylum. The Fundamental Rights Officer and the Committee will look both into complaints related to border operations and to asylum procedures.
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