Violence, misery and death have become sad everyday life at the EU’s external borders. Refugees from war zones are beaten, robbed and sent back. Frontex plays a central role in this. The controversial European border and coast guard is now to be expanded – with more money from Switzerland. Parliament now wants to pay 61 million a year for Frontex instead of the previous 14 million. We demand: No money for human rights violations! For the referendum, we need 50,000 signatures from people who are entitled to vote in Switzerland by the end of the year.
How you can support the referendum:
Sign the referral form.
Spread the information about the referendum on your channels, whether on social media or in the neighborhood.
Support the referendum financially: IBAN: CH72 0900 0000 6024 4887 5, note: “Frontex referendum”.
What is Frontex?
Frontex was founded in 2004. Their area of activity is to support the national authorities in protecting the EU and Schengen external borders. Since 2016 it has grown into a kind of super organization with a higher budget, more staff and its own weapons. Repatriations are now also part of their duties.
Systematic disregard for human rights
Numerous reports from civil society organizations and journalists reveal: National coast guards and border patrols systematically stop refugees and leave them defenseless at the European border. Research in Greece shows how authorities destroyed the boats’ engines and left refugees on non-maneuverable vehicles or inflatable life fins. During several such «pushbacks», Frontex was nearby or even stopped the refugees’ boats and handed them over to the coast guard.
Frontex also uses drones to monitor the Mediterranean Sea and reports refugees to the Libyan coast guard, although refugees in Libya are threatened with imprisonment in camps and serious human rights violations.
As a Schengen member state, Switzerland contributes to the financing of Frontex. With the adoption of the EU regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard, Parliament decided in the autumn session to more than quadruple the contribution – from 14 million today to 61 million per year. In addition, more Swiss people will take part in armed operations in the future. The expansion of Frontex, without any guarantee that human rights will not be systematically violated any further, cannot be reconciled with humanitarian values.