Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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EU border agency ‘hijacked’ by von der Leyen and her cronies amid row over borders | World | News

The Border Agency’s former boss has alleged that the organisation has been “hijacked” by the .

Fabrice Leggeri, who led the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) between 2015 and 2022, criticised the bloc’s migration policy while touring the French-Italian border earlier this week.

He claimed the organisation no longer operates “as a border guard” during a speech in which he advocated for Europe to “regain control of its borders”.

The civil servant has been selected as a candidate for the far-right anti-immigration party Rassemblement National in the upcoming European elections.

He recently used a campaign event to claim Frontex must be returned to “its role as a border guard”.

Euractiv reported that Mr Leggeri made his first official appearance as a candidate at the town of Menton, in the south of France, on Monday, February 19.

While there, he told attendees at the campaign event that he was joining the list of candidates under Jordan Bardella, RN’s president, to advocate his former agency be “redirected”.

He said: “I am joining Jordan Bardella’s list because I want France and Europe to regain control of their borders.

“Frontex has been hijacked by the European Commission (which is led by President Ursula von der Leyen) and we need to return it to its role as a border guard.”

Mr Bardella agreed, telling journalists Frontex must be “redirected towards a mission to protect our borders and our civilisation”.

Frontex is currently headed by executive director Dr Hans Leijtens, the former governor of The Hague and Commander of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee who took on his role in 2023.

Dr Leijtens has previously raised the alarm over the “huge rise” in immigration to Europe, especially via the Mediterranean, and vowed to clean up the “toxic” air within the organisation.

Under his leadership, the organisation struck a deal with the UK promising a “long-term framework for close cooperation” over the shared border in the English Channel.

During his tenure at Frontex, Mr Leggeri was regularly accused by NGOs of tolerating the illegal return of migrants.

German newspaper Spiegel claimed he was complicit in “pushbacks”, whereby migrants were rejected without having their asylum applications examined.

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