1st April 2014: This morning at the European Parliament in Brussels, Andrew Brons asked the following question during a debate in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on the 2014 Work Programme of FRONTEX (the EU borders agency).
"Your procedures are, of course, subject to obligations and constraints established by EU law. Could you identify any of those legal obligations or constraints that made your job more difficult or less effective?
"I am not, of course, asking for your opinion on whether the restrictions are justified (I would not lead you into that minefield) but simply their effect on your work.
"For example, have the restrictions on the amount of time that people can be detained and the consequent reliance on voluntary return led to the failure of the returns policy?"
Andrew's comment on the response:
"Mr Gil Arias Fernandez, Deputy Executive Director of FRONTEX, claimed that once a migrant had entered a country in the EU he/she became the responsibility of the national authorities.
Whilst this might be strictly true, FRONTEX does co-operate with the member state concerned for a long time afterwards."