Guidance for National Monitoring Mechanisms at External Borders
On 14 October 2022, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) published general guidance offering assistance to EU Member States in setting up independent mechanisms to monitor fundamental rights compliance at the EU's external borders. When setting up such independent national monitoring systems, EU Member States are to ensure that their independence and operational autonomy is guaranteed, that they have a broad thematic mandate and the necessary configuration and level of power as well as the necessary expertise, resources, and funding to carry out their mandate. Reporting, transparency, and accountability requirements should be part of the mechanisms. Ultimately, the new mechanisms should ensure synergies with existing monitoring mechanisms and cooperation with national border and migration authorities. Detailed advice is given on how to best establish these parameters and safeguards, followed by explanations on the policy background and objectives of border management monitoring.
FRA's guidance comes in the context of a request by the Commission, which tabled a proposal for a screening regulation in September 2020 that included an obligation for EU Member States to establish an independent national border-monitoring mechanism.