The executive director of the European border agency (Frontex), the French Fabrice Leggeri, has decided to submit his resignation from the position. The reasons are several: he was surrounded by various scandals related to the hot returns of migrants and by the opacity of his management, after a thorough investigation by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) about his conduct.
As reported by Europa Press, he presented his resignation on Thursday before the board of directors of the European body, which accepted the decision and is now discussing his replacement in an extraordinary meeting, with the OLAF report as the final trigger of the crisis.
The Frontex board of directors, which has been meeting extraordinarily since Thursday to address this issue, has already accepted Leggeri’s resignation and is exploring options for his replacement, European sources have informed Europa Press.
“They have accepted, their temporary replacement remains to be seen,” the sources explained regarding how to fill Leggeri’s vacancy while the process to choose the next director is launched.
In an appearance on Thursday, Leggeri put his position at the disposal of the governing body with the argument that his mandate had been modified “quietly but effectively”, according to a letter signed by the until now director of Frontex.
The announcement also coincides with the demand announced the day before by the German NGO Sea Watch before him Court of Justice of the European Union against Frontex for alleged violations of Human Rights for its collusion in the Mediterranean with hot returns and abuses in the rescue of migrants on the high seas.
The European Comissionwhich in the past accused Leggeri of hindering the control of fundamental rights in the internal bodies of the European agency and presenting a “misleading” version to both the Community Executive and the European Parliament, has been cautious this Friday until knowing the details of the extraordinary meeting.
On Leggeri’s claim regarding the “quiet” change in the agency’s mandate, the community spokesperson on Home Affairs, Anitta Hipper, has denied that changes to Frontex’s keys have taken place. “The mission has always been to protect the borders and ensure respect for fundamental Human Rights in the development of this task,” he stressed.
Brussels has also not wanted to comment on the details of the OLAF report delivered to the Frontex governing body, which it knows because the Community Executive is part of the board of directors, although a community spokesperson has conceded that its content is “very precise” and believes that now we must “learn the lessons” of this past stage.
From the European Parliament, the UP MEP and member of the investigation commission that the institution opened on Frontex, Sira Regohas celebrated Leggeri’s departure as “great news”, although he has asked that the reasons that have forced his resignation be clarified “immediately”.
“Frontex’s problem is not just Fabrice Leggeri, Frontex’s problem is structural. For this reason, his resignation is not enough and we need a total change in the EU’s immigration policy”, reasoned Rego, who has demanded that the European Commission also assume responsibility for him in controlling the work of the agency. .
The European Socialists and Democrats, through the German MEP Birgit Sippelhave recalled that they have been calling for Leggeri’s resignation for at least a year and have demanded that despite his resignation, the accusations of abuse and fraud by the agency continue to be investigated.
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Source: HuffPost Spain for Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.es.
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