*[Enwl-eng] A message from Luisa and Arne

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May 11, 2021, 7:28:02 PMMay 11
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Hi,

Today, we are writing to sincerely thank you for your support over the past year.

One year ago, you signed a petition calling on Frontex, the EU border police, to stop its intimidations against activists like us. After we had lost our transparency lawsuit against the border agency, Frontex had sent us an invoice claiming €23,700 in legal fees. [1]

Demanding such a large amount of money from two activists had a clear intention: to create a chilling effect to stop us - and anyone else - from taking them to court again.

With you, more than 87,000 citizens stood by us and demanded Frontex drop their invoice for legal fees. [2] Unfortunately, Frontex chose not to listen and instead they doubled down, taking us to court in order to force us to pay.

Today, we finally share with you some good news: the EU court has ruled that Frontex’s demand for legal fees was indeed excessive. The court has ordered that €10,520 - less than half of what Frontex had initially demanded - is the justifiable amount. [3]

To us, this proves that Frontex was in no need to demand such a large amount of money from us. Their invoice and lawsuit, rather than a financial need, was a message of intimidation against critical civil society.

What’s even better: the European Parliament has called on Frontex to drop its demand for legal fees - and to never demand this kind of legal costs again. This strong, important stance taken by the Parliament is unprecedented! [4]

In light of all of these developments, we’d like to thank you for standing up to Frontex’s abuse, and defending activists’ right to investigate, question and hold Frontex accountable.

Your support and taking a stance matters now more than ever. After a series of investigations shed some light into what is actually happening during Frontex’s operations and behind closed doors, the border agency is now facing three different investigations; the agency stands accused, among other things, of human rights violations, misconduct and harassment, and lying to the European Parliament. [5]

We will continue to investigate and challenge Frontex’s actions - the agency’s efforts to intimidate us do not stand a chance.

So, once again, thank you for having supported our fight, and having taken a stance against abuse of power. As the work to hold Frontex accountable continues, we hope to meet you again, soon.

Kind regards from Brussels and Berlin,
Luisa and Arne

References:
[1] https://fragdenstaat.de/en/aktionen/frontex/
[2] https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/luisa-arne-vs-frontex-en?utm_source=civimail-37245&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20210506_EN
[3] https://fragdenstaat.de/en/blog/2021/04/19/frontex-costs-eu-court/
[4] https://fragdenstaat.de/en/blog/2021/05/04/frontex-excessive-fees-parliament/
[5] https://www.statewatch.org/analyses/2021/frontex-investigations-what-changes-in-the-eu-border-agency-s-accountability/

 

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Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 6:02 PM
Subject: A message from Luisa and Arne
 
 


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