This week, Konstantinos Solkidis, the Fundamental Rights Officer at the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum visited Frontex for a series of meetings with the agency’s management and Fundamental Rights Officer.
During his two-day visit, he met with the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer, Jonas Grimheden, discussing the agency’s fundamental rights safeguards, including reporting and complaints mechanisms. Mr Solkidis also met with the Greek staff of the Fundamental Rights Office.
In 2022, the number of complaints received by the agency’s mechanism as well as the number of serious incident reports related to fundamental rights more than doubled from the previous year.
On the second day, Mr Solkidis discussed the current Frontex activities in Greece with the agency’s Executive Director ad interim Aija Kalnaja and Frontex Directors. The agency currently has about 500 staff and officers deployed in operation Poseidon in Greece. The agency also supports the Hellenic authorities with 27 patrol cars, 11 boats, and two aircraft and other equipment for border surveillance.
In 2022, the Greek authorities and Frontex established a plan to engage in a structured dialogue on information-sharing in cases of potential violations of fundamental rights, bringing together the Fundamental Rights Officers from Greece and Frontex.
Mr Solkidis was appointed Fundamental Rights Officer in December 2022. His tasks include cooperation with the Task Force for Fundamental Rights Compliance which was established with the cooperation of the European Commission last year. He is responsible for monitoring the procedures and implementation of national, EU and international legislation in the fields of border and international protection.
In 2022, Frontex put fundamental rights at the centre of its activities. With the recruitment of a deputy Fundamental Rights Officer, 46 fundamental rights monitors on board and implementation of the fundamental rights strategy, the agency demonstrated that fundamental rights and border management go hand in hand.