Answer – Mistreatment of asylum seekers by border guards – P-002620/2017

The Commission is always concerned about reports of mistreatment of migrants and takes such allegations very seriously.

The Schengen Borders Code (Art. 4) provides that border checks should be carried out in full respect of fundamental rights. A code of conduct developed by the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG) Agency is applicable to all border control operations coordinated by the Agency.

Although the training of border guards is primarily a matter for Member States, the EBCG Agency ensures that all border guards of Member States who participate in such border control operations have received training in fundamental rights prior to their participation and develops also common core curricula for the training of border guards, including on fundamental rights.

The Commission pays particular attention to the issue of detention and alleged abuse of migrants’ rights. The funding and the European Asylum Support Office support provided to Bulgaria aims, amongst others, to improve the conditions of reception and detention of asylum-seekers. The Commission is aware of allegations concerning pushbacks along the Western Balkan route and is in constant dialogue with all the concerned national authorities concerning the implementation of the EU asylum acquis, including further alignment to EU migration and asylum acquis and international standards in enlargement countries.

The Commission continues to closely monitor the Hungarian migration rules and their implementation and has had a series of exchanges with Hungary about various aspects of its asylum system. An infringement procedure against Hungary was opened in December 2015.

On 17 May 2017, the Commission decided to expand the scope of that procedure and issued a complementary letter of formal notice.(1) As regards alleged mistreatment by border guards, credible complaints submitted to the Hungarian authorities should trigger an obligation to effectively investigate these cases, in a prompt and impartial fashion.

(1) http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-1285_en.htm