A Greek coast boat escorts a dingy with migrants and refugees during a rescue operation in September 2019, near the Greek island from Samos. [Petros Giannakouris/AP]
The claim that the Hellenic Coast Guard carried out pushbacks of illegal migrants with the tolerance of executives of the European Union border protection agency Frontex will be further investigated by a special committee after a board meeting decision this week.
The investigation was requested by the representatives of EU member-states and the Commission (participating in the board), at the extraordinary meeting of November 10, convened by Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson. The move was seen as a challenge to Frontex’s initial findings, which had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegations.
The committee will also undertake to interpret Article 6 of European Regulation 656, regarding the course of action to stop the course of a migrant smuggling vessel.
The Frontex board said it has asked the committee to present its report at the next regular meeting on January 20-21.