#9 "Little Empires"
The EU’s anti-fraud watchdog, OLAF, has officially announced an investigation into the bloc’s central asylum agency, the EUAA (which replaced EASO, the European Asylum Support Office,earlier this year). According to Nina Gregori, the agency’s executive director, their role is to ‘tangibly’ improve the ‘application of the world’s only multinational asylum system.’ Documents seen by Athens-based non-profit organisation Solomon indicate that the EUAA has vastly overlooked a systemic mistreatment of asylum seekers, inciting an ‘excessively narrow interpretation of its obligations in such situations’ to evade accountability. The announcement follows scandals made public earlier this year engulfing the EU border agency, Frontex, prompting the president of the Union Syndicale Federale to accuse such organisations of behaving like ‘little empires’. Central to OLAF’s investigation are allegations that the EUAA has fostered a ‘toxic workplace culture’, is mishandling harassment claims and engaging in nepotism. You can read the full article about OLAF’s investigation in the links below, as well as how this news plays into a wider culture of EU asylum and border agencies adopting a ‘carceral capitalist’ approach to border management.