Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Frontex Fundamental Rights Consultative Forum...are you in?

Frontex has recently issued a call for applications for parties interested in becoming members of its Fundamental Rights Consultative Forum.  

In terms of the Frontex Regulation (as recently amended), the main role of the Consultative Forum is to "assist the Executive Director and the Management Board in fundamental rights matters" (Article 26a).

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) is already invited by Frontex’s Management Board to be part of the Consultative Forum together with the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Council of Europe (CoE), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the Organization for the Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).  EASO, FRA and UNHCR will constitute the Drafting Committee in charge of the selection of remaining members of the Consultative Forum...and this of course explains why we're posting this item.

Together with the above-mentioned agencies and organisations, the Consultative Forum will consist of a maximum of 9 civil society organisations (good lord!), and that’s where you NGOs come into the picture.  If your organisation is involved in fundamental rights issues within Frontex's thematic area of coverage (essentially border management), you should definitely apply in order to share your expertise with Frontex and also to ensure a stronger fundamental rights approach to its work.

The application deadline is 25th June and all relevant material can be found here:

From our perspective, this Forum is a welcome inclusion in the revised Regulation.  Yet as with the EASO Consultative Forum, its success will ultimately lie in the nature of its consultation processes.  Will these be timely, so as to truly impact on decisions, policies, practices, etc.?  Will feedback be given on issues raised?  What form will the consultation take?  Will the already heavy institutional elements dominate over civil society organisations?  Why the numerus clausus

Will we, as aditus foundation, apply for membership?  Well, we are a human rights NGO, we are very involved with border issues, we are based in a region that is constantly rallying for strengthened EU-led border management and we would like to see our realities and concerns raised at the decision-making levels.  So we probably will, yes...  

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