Defund Frontex, Build a European Search and Rescue programme

Over 18,709 people have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea since 2015. Their fundamental right to life was denied to them by the EU and its Member States, whose conscious, deliberate and carefully planned policies continue to condemn innocente lives at sea to date.

Everyone of these deaths is a direct consequence of Europe’s ever-growing obsession with borders; a mindset deeply rooted in the continent’s racist and colonialist worldview, crystallised into a rampant anti-migration political agenda.

Key to the enforcement and advancement of this border-centric, life-depriving agenda lies the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).
Frontex is currently the EU’s most powerful agency, with a €5.6 billion budget and it own army of 10,000 border guards due by 2027. The neglectful growth and expansion of the EU border agency took place during the period in which the Mediterranean Sea became the world’s deadliest migration route.
These events, which don’t merely coincide in time but are in fact closely intertwined, reveal a political choice being made as to where the EU’s priorities – and the valuable resources that come within – lie.

By choosing not to deploy the necessary resources to save lives at sea, the EU’s deliberation inaction has caused the death of thousands of people at sea. By relentlessly reinforcing its border policing, and by externalising further border control by the means of dangerous partnerships, the EU’s calculated action has condemned thousands of innocent lives.

Meanwhile, Frontex has not only become the central actor in implementing the EU’s wish to prevent people from seeking safety in Europe; the Eu border force has also used its expanded powers to pursue an agenda of its own, which further endangers the lives of people on the move.

The time is long-overdue to reverse this course. We must dismantle the structures that have caused – and continue to cause – violence and death at sea. In their place, we must build new systems and structures that create safety for all.

Read the full document, researched and authored by Frag Den Staat and Sea-Watch, down below: