Billions, failures and barbed wire “, France 2 plunges behind scenes of Europe Fortress

While the Frontex budget has increased from 98 million to 544 million euros since 2014, illegal crossings of the EU borders are at the highest. “Investigation supplement” explores the drifts of the European border guards agency.


Europe should not become a fortress, it respects all the rights of migrants and will never finance the construction of barbed wire walls at its borders. These are the bulk of the official remarks made by the European institutions since the Syrian crisis, which precipitated millions of migrants on the roads in 2015-2016.

No damage to rights? NGO, media, elected officials document illegal – and sometimes violent – repressions of which are engaged, in various places, of border guards, under the passive, and sometimes active eye, of the agents of Frontex, the European border guards agency . Based in Warsaw, called upon to become a mastodon of 10,000 civil servants, Frontex will be equipped, by 2027, with a budget of 900 million euros (it was 98 million in 2014).

Quickly, in a tense political context marked by the rise of populist discourse, the institution led by the French Fabrice Leggeri – who resigned on April 29 following an investigation by the Antifraude Wrestling Office (Olaf ) EU – tried to assume its situation, sometimes considered schizophrenic.


“Investigation supplement” Chronicle This schizophrenia. Between the most uncompromising countries of the Union and those who claim respect for the values ​​put forward by Europe, EU leaders have improvised. They negotiated agreements with Turkey and Morocco to prevent flows towards European territory, closed their eyes to the dramatic situation in Libya and let Frontex swell without monitoring its functioning and its missions.

OLAF investigators, in addition to cases of “harassment and bad conduct”, confirmed the participation of the agents of Frontex in illegal repressions in Greece and Hungary. The European Court of Auditors, for its part, deplored the poor organization of the agency in the field, while NGOs highlighted its increasingly close ties with the surveillance and armament sector. Which is, today, one of the main beneficiaries of the new border control market, which is experiencing annual increase close to 8 %.

Fabrice Leggeri has maintained a certain vagueness on the real reasons for his resignation: is it a questioning of certain practices of the agency or illustrates the fact that the current mission devolved to Frontex is almost impossible ? This is the throbbing question posed by the title of the documentary of Lilya Melkonian, Antoine Husser and Baptiste Rimbert, borders: billions, failures and barbed wire.

Some 23 billion euros in total have been spent so far to ensure a closure – still uncertain, moreover – of the old continent. In the department of large beneficiaries of this windfall, there is for example this Spanish industrialist in the Barbelé, who, filmed on a hidden camera, exposes without complex to his alleged buyers his latest finds: colorful or electrified wires supposed to frighten the candidates for crossing crossings . Or these harpoon -shaped blades which cannot be removed from the flesh without the intervention of the emergency services.

At a time when Europe opens its borders without reservation to the Ukrainians who flee the war, Tristan Waleckx will conclude the evening with Abdullah Kurdi, the father of Aylan, this dead little Syrian boy drowned in the Mediterranean in 2015, including The photo had upset the whole world. In an interview recorded in the city of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, he denounces the two -speed reception of the European Union, less generous with regard to non -European refugees.

Not a fortress, Europe? Really?

/Media reports.