The Netherlands will command Europe’s border guards after stopping us for Schengen
Dutch General Hans Leytens has headed the EU’s border agency Frontex. Fifty-nine-year-old Leitens was elected by the board for a five-year term, DPA reported, citing a Frontex announcement.
He replaces Latvian Aja Kalnaya, who took over in July after the resignation of her predecessor, Fabrice Legery, accused by human rights groups of failing to stop the illegal push out of migrants. The EU’s anti-fraud office OLAF said on Friday it was investigating Frontex, without giving further details.
Kalnaya said she was “notified by OLAF that I am a person of concern in a case that consists of two separate events.” “It will fully, openly and unconditionally cooperate with OLAF to clarify the facts,” Kalnaya said.
The previous head of Frontex, Frenchman Fabrice Ledgery, resigned at the end of April after serious allegations were made against him and his staff. The agency’s leadership is said to have covered up the fact that Greek border guards were intercepting refugees trying to reach the coast of Greece by boat and turning them back on the high seas, an illegal practice under international law.
Last night, Leytens was congratulated by EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, who thanked Kalnaya “for her excellent leadership in a difficult period”.
“We are committed to continuing to improve the management of Frontex to best protect the EU’s external border,” Johansson said.
Leitens was a general in the Dutch army and was the commander of the border and military police. His position at Frontex is for a five-year term, dir.bg reported.