8 April 2016

ECRE, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Amnesty International released a joint briefing on the draft European Border and Coast Guard Regulation, highlighting a number of concerns. While they recognise the current challenges facing European Coast and Border Guards, and the need for the swift adoption of the new Regulation, this should not be to the detriment of properly reviewing its provisions. The organisations urge the European Council and Parliament to ensure a proper debate and consultation with a broad range of stakeholders before the adoption of the Regulation.

The organisations are worried by the blurring of competences between the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (currently Frontex) and the Member States, which has strong implications in terms of accountability for an EU law or human rights violation. Indeed, the lack of clarity in the division of competences and attribution of responsibility risks creating a legal vacuum in terms of accountability.

The organisations are also concerned by the limited references to their fundamental rights obligations and urge the European Institutions to ensure that human rights safeguards are present throughout the document. ECRE, ICJ and Amnesty welcome the introduction of a complaints mechanism in the Regulation; however, they stress its inability to ensure adequate access to an effective remedy, in compliance with article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights

The briefing further urges European Institutions to establish and implement an effective fundamental rights monitoring mechanism and to include this in the draft Regulation.

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 8 April 2016. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.