Addressing the violation of fundamental rights at the external borders of the European Union
Coherent Identifier 20.500.12592/w7gm6b

Addressing the violation of fundamental rights at the external borders of the European Union

30 June 2022


This study looks at the Commission’s enforcement powers in relation to  fundamental rights compliance at the external borders, outlining the context of  the infringement proceedings (Part I). It then looks more specifically at the funding instruments available to Member  States for the management of immigration, asylum and the external borders,  examining the safeguards and possibilities for conditionality contained in these  instruments (Part II). Violations at EU external borders Violations of fundamental rights at the external borders, including pushbacks and  violence committed towards third country nationals, have been well-reported  and documented by journalists and NGOs. Meanwhile, national courts, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and  the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) have on various occasions  established the existence of pushbacks at the external borders of the European  Union. Compliance with fundamental rights and EU law Following an inquiry into the way in which the European Commission monitors  and ensures respect for fundamental rights by the Croatian authorities in the  context of border management operations supported by EU funds, the  Ombudsman agreed with the Commission’s argument that it “does not have the  authority or means to investigate or directly monitor border activities itself”, it also held that the Commission “has the authority and an obligation to ensure  that EU funds granted to a Member State are spent in compliance with  fundamental rights and EU law, and to insist on safeguards to this end.” Why is this important? For the Asylum and Migration Fund (AMIF), the Internal Security Fund (ISF) and  the Border Management and Visa Instrument Fund (BMVI), the Commission has  to do mid-term evaluation by March 2024. After this mid-term review, the Commission will allocate additional funds for the  adjustment of the allocations to the Member States’ programmes. This entails  EUR under AMIF, EUR 225.000.000 for the ISF and EUR  611.000.000 for the BMVI. This study finds that these additional allocations can be made  conditional on compliance with fundamental rights, which means that  Member States who perform pushbacks will not receive this funding.    

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