Language of document :

Action brought on 21 May 2021 – SS and ST v Frontex

(Case T-282/21)

Language of the case: English


Applicants: SS, ST (represented by: M. Van den Broeck and L. Lambert, lawyers)

Defendant: European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex)

Form of order sought

The applicants claim that the Court should:

Admit the case and consider it on its merits;

Declare that after Frontex was called upon to act in accordance with the procedure specified in Art. 265 TFEU, it has failed to act either by withdrawing the financing, suspending or terminating, part or whole of its activities in the Aegean Sea Region (Art. 46(4) EBCG Regulation 1 ), or by providing duly justified grounds for not activating the relevant measure under Art. 46(6), or otherwise to define its position in response to the Applicants’ preliminary request;

Declare this failure to act to be in infringement of the Treaties in the meaning of Art. 265 TFEU.

Pleas in law and main arguments

In support of the action, the applicant relies on three pleas in law.

First plea in law, alleging the existence of serious or persisting violations of fundamental rights and international protection obligations in the Aegean Sea Region, related to the activities of Frontex, following which the Executive Director was obliged to suspend or terminate the said activities within the meaning of Article 46 EBCG Regulation. The applicants submit that the gathered evidence establishes that ‘new tactics’ in the context of border control operations in the Aegean Sea Region, introduced in March 2020, amount to a State (Greece) and organizational (Frontex) policy of systematic and widespread attack directed against civilian populations seeking asylum in the EU, in violation of, inter alia, the right to life, the prohibition on collective expulsion, the principle of non-refoulement, and the right to asylum.

Second plea in law, alleging that Frontex has failed to fulfil its positive obligations under the Charter of Fundamental Rights with respect to preventing foreseeable violations of the above-mentioned fundamental rights, occurring in the Aegean Sea Region in the context of its operation. Frontex has failed to act upon concrete manifestations of its positive obligations, explicitly prescribed in articles other than article 46 of the EBCG Regulation, such as monitoring and reporting obligations, and are related to or even intertwined with the application of Art. 46.

Third plea in law, alleging that the failure of the Agency to act in the context of Art. 265 TFEU concerns the applicants directly and individually, as their situation has been prejudiced already multiple times by the new State and organizational policy of systematic and widespread practices of either abduction from EU soil and forcible transfer back to sea, or interception at sea; abandonment at sea on unworthy vessels causing serious risk to life; unlawful refoulement, collective expulsion, and prevention of access to asylum. The continued failure of Frontex to take appropriate measures in order to prevent these violations – including the suspension or termination of its activities as Article 46 Commands – significantly increases the risk of the Applicants to be subjected again, for the 6th time, to the very same infringements of the Treaties, as well as of international and European customary and treaty law.


1 Regulation (EU) 2019/1896 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2019 on the European Border and Coast Guard and repealing Regulations (EU) No 1052/2013 and (EU) 2016/1624 (OJ 2019, L 295, p.1).