Project News

FREM III: handing over project outputs and activities to Frontex

03 December 2021

On 25 - 26 November 2021, ICMPD and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) organised the final events of the Forced Return Monitoring III project (FReM III)` online. Since December 2018, ICMPD and Frontex were implementing the FReM III project jointly with the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights and 22 partner countries. The objective was to increase the operational and procedural effectiveness of the Frontex pool of forced-return monitors (Pool) and to support the national forced-return monitoring systems in Member States.

During the closing conference on 25 November, ICMPD presented the results of the project and officially handed over the relevant project outputs and activities to Frontex. Mr Michael Spindelegger, ICMPD Director General opened the event by highlighting that forced-return monitoring is a crucial element of European return policies and thanking the monitoring bodies for their continuous efforts in performing this highly demanding task. Mr Fabrice Leggeri, Executive Director of Frontex, emphasised that fundamental rights are at the core of Frontex’ work and that the Agency is striving to ensure their respect in all their activities.

Mr Michael Shotter, Director of Migration and Protection, Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) reminded participants of the additional safeguard and benefit that forced-return monitoring provides to return enforcing authorities and invited Frontex to follow through with dedication in this area also in future. Finally, Mr Jonas Grimheden, Fundamental Rights Officer at Frontex assured participants that he will continue safeguarding the independence of the Office in all their duties.

During the meeting on the Pool on 26 November, participants received information about the organisational structure and the related activities and tools that will in future be available to the Pool. The relevant Frontex entities introduced their specific tasks and responsibilities and the meeting concluded with a panel discussion on the set up of an advisory board involving monitoring bodies and other relevant stakeholders more actively to give them the possibility to shape activities in the Pool.