Greece Border Monitoring Consultant
As part of a proposed new Screening Regulation under the Pact on Migration and Asylum, the European Commission is envisioning the establishment of an independent monitoring mechanism (IBMM) to investigate allegations of fundamental rights violations at borders. Under the proposed regulation, member states would “adopt relevant provisions to investigate allegations of non-respect for fundamental rights” and “put in place adequate safeguards to guarantee the independence of the mechanism.” In essence, this means that member state can set their mechanism ‘as they see fit’, given that there are no clear, detailed, and binding conditions on its modalities.
As EU institutions are considering the new Screening Regulation and other legislative proposals, human rights advocates have identified preconditions for effective monitoring. In their view, the proposed mechanism has the potential to address violations but only if it is expanded in scope; independence is ensured; accountability for violations is strengthened; and suitable consequences follow governments’ non-compliance.
At a time when plans for future border monitoring mechanisms are becoming more concrete, detailed conditions on their modalities are missing, and certain member states even suggest their mechanisms are mostly in place already, it is necessary to set the record straight by taking a closer look at the status quo of monitoring against key criteria for effectiveness.
Given Greece’s geographic location at the EU’s external border, it is one of the member states where independent border monitoring is of greatest importance. The objective of this study is therefore to use the example of Greece to demonstrate how the above-mentioned principles and conditions of effective monitoring can be applied in practice and how current arrangements are insufficient.
By outlining elements of independent border monitoring currently in place, evaluating the extent to which they meet set criteria (scope, independence, accountability, consequences) are met, and proposing reforms for better results, the ongoing debate on border monitoring at national and EU levels should be informed. To the extent that key elements of an effective monitoring mechanism are found to be missing, the study would help demonstrate that clear and detailed conditions are urgently needed. The study would also demonstrate that the narrative of mechanisms ‘mostly already existing’ may not apply in actual fact.
The consultant is expected to deliver a detailed report as well as a 2-page summary of the following:
•Description of existing IBMM (migration context, esp. at border(s); legal framework; institutions that are or could be monitoring; methodologies that are being applied)
•Analysis of existing IBMM against set of criteria (ECRE, ENNHRI), esp. regarding its scope, independence, accountability, and consequences (political and financial costs)
•Recommendations for reform to better meet criteria, grouped by institution (Greek Government, European Commission, civil society, etc.)