Fundamental rights at Frontex

The Fundamental Rights Officer (FRO) is mandated with monitoring Frontex’s implementation of its fundamental rights obligations in accordance with EU and international law and with advising the Executive Director on fundamental rights-related issues. The FRO and the staff of the Fundamental Rights Office, including Fundamental Rights Monitors, have an independent role within the agency to reinforce respect, protection and promotion of fundamental rights. In order to effectively monitor the agency’s compliance with fundamental rights, the FRO can conduct investigations into any of its activities and carries out regular on-the-spot visits. The staff of the Fundamental Rights Office conducts monitoring, provides advice and training on fundamental rights and access to international protection to Frontex staff and relevant stakeholders. 

The FRO is responsible for handling complaints received via Frontex Complaints Mechanism and Serious Incident Reports related to potential violations of fundamental rights within Frontex activities.

The Fundamental Rights Officer issues opinions in relation to any Frontex activity both at policy and operational level and with regards to the agency’s cooperation with partners, identifying fundamental rights risk and possible violations.

The Fundamental Rights Officer’s Annual Report

The FRO publishes annual reports on the activities carried out by the Fundamental Rights Office, pursuant to Article 109(4) of the Regulation (EU) 2019/1896.

The aim of the annual report is to inform on the status of implementation of fundamental rights in Frontex’s operational activities in line with the agency’s Fundamental Rights Strategy. The report outlines the structures and instruments put in place as well as the concrete actions taken to ensure the agency’s compliance with fundamental rights.

Jonas Grimheden

Fundamental Rights Officer

Jonas Grimheden joined Frontex as a Fundamental Rights Officer in June 2021. Before taking the position of Fundamental Rights Officer, he worked at the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) for 12 years, where he focused on legal procedures, monitoring, and complaints mechanisms in various contexts.

Prior to working for the EU, Jonas was a researcher and lecturer based at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) at Lund University in Sweden, where he was the Deputy Head of the Academic Department. Earlier, he worked for the RWI with human rights development cooperation, where he established and headed the first of the institute’s field offices in China (1999–2000). Jonas has been a Thunberg-scholar at Niigata, Nagoya and Waseda law schools in Japan; a visiting assistant professor at Cornell Law School and part-time visiting professor at the Chinese University of Political Science and Law, Beijing. In addition, he has edited books and written numerous articles in the areas of international, human rights, comparative, Chinese and EU law. He holds a iuris doctorate and has been a docent (associate professor) of international human rights law at Lund University since 2009.

Deputy Fundamental Rights Officer

According to the European Boarder and Coast Guard Regulation, the Deputy Fundamental Rights Officer is appointed by the Management Board of the Agency and she or he is assisting the Fundamental Rights Officer to deliver on all her/his tasks. If the Fundamental Rights Officer is absent or indisposed, the Deputy Fundamental Rights Officer assumes her/his duties and responsibilities.

Grigorios Tsioukas, as Deputy Fundamental Rights Officer, is supervising the monitoring work of the Fundamental Rights Monitors in the field.

Grigorios Tsioukas

Deputy Fundamental Rights Officer

Grigorios Tsioukas started working as advanced level Frontex Fundamental Rights Monitor in July 2021 and was appointed Deputy Fundamental Rights Officer as of 1 March 2022. Grigorios Tsioukas is a fundamental rights lawyer holding a PhD in law with a focus on migration. Grigorios has a long experience as senior investigator for the Greek Ombudsman and has also worked as legal advisor for the Greek Ministry of the Interior on border management, migration and citizenship issues. Before joining Frontex he worked for 4 years for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.