To find out more about the Abolish Frontex! network and the upcoming Swiss referendum on whether the country should increase its financial contributions to the EU border agency, we spoke to Luisa Izuzquiza of Frag den Staat and Abolish Frontex! and to Lorenz Nagel, a member of Watch the Med/AlarmPhone and the Migrant Solidarity Network that proposed and campaigned for the Swiss referendum.
Across the weekend of 22-24 April, three days of action organised by the Abolish Frontex! network in support a no vote in the Swiss referendum on Frontex funding, to be held on 15 May 2022, led to initiatives in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland itself. These actions included workshops, demonstrations and actions to raise awareness about systemic problems connected to the border regime, migration management and the militarisation of borders.
Luisa’s and Lorenz’s answers represent their personal views and not those of the organisations with which they are involved.
We started by asking about themselves and their activity in this context.
Luisa: “I would define myself as a freedom of information activist and I have been working on freedom of information since 2014, with a special focus on Frontex and borders since 2016. With my then partner in activism and now my actual colleague Arne Semsrott, we started working on Frontex because for a transparency activist I think it’s a very clear target and it’s quite easy to see that they need some work, specifically to make their actions more transparent – on the one hand because Frontex clearly has quite an obstructive approach to transparency and they have a heavily embedded culture of secrecy within the agency, and at the same time they are a huge agency in terms of size, power and budget that is quite reluctant to accountability so I think the freedom of information activism and Frontex-oriented work was quite a natural match to make, so we do research around Frontex, we do campaigning and we do litigation.”
Lorenz: “On the one hand, I am active in the transnational network Watch the Med/AlarmPhone that has a lot to do with the things that are ongoing, on the fortification of Europe and the militarisation of the border regime and within that, also Frontex, and on the other hand I am also doing research on the topic of externalisation and the militarisation of the border regime as well, so I have these two roles.”
We then asked Luisa to tell us about the transnational Abolish Frontex! campaign and how it is structured, and Lorenz about the initiation of, and signature collection for, the Swiss referendum, as well as whether any political parties supported it.
Luisa: “The AF! campaign was born a bit less than a year ago, in June 2021. It is a decentralised campaign that is organised in an autonomous way with different national chapters that come together to debate strategy and to coordinate around the demands that the campaign is based on. To date, it includes over 100 organisations from all around Europe and beyond Europe as well, because one of the aims was always to involve groups that are active in the periphery of Europe and also beyond Europe, because of course this topic affects everyone.
“Where is it more active? It’s interesting, because that has shifted quite a lot since the launch of the campaign, and as the campaign was growing. For instance, at the very beginning we had a very strong German focus and a very strong German chapter, because there were already quite a lot of groups, NGOs and activist movements already organised in Germany, and there was a good awareness of Frontex and its role, so it was a very natural thing to organise, and as time has gone on we have also seen a large chapter grow, for example, in Italy, which is growing and is very active. It’s interesting to see how certain focuses become activated and then suddenly grow very quickly, and how the interest is the same in countries where Frontex operates in a very obvious way and also in countries which technically do not have any interaction with Frontex but, of course, it is in their interest as well. … In the Netherlands, we have groups that have been organising for instance around the anti-arms trade movement so, yes, it’s another area in which it is very active.”
Lorenz: “When it comes to the Swiss referendum, it is important to know about the Swiss context, that there is a semi-direct democratic system that allows to propose referendums on the decisions that are taken within the parliament. This was also the beginning, there was a parliamentary decision to go with the Frontex increase, to take over this new reform that was decided upon in 2019 and, unsurprisingly, I would say, none of the big parties, also on the left, did propose the referendum themselves.
“This then brought different correctors and groups from non-parliamentary networks that are involved in one way or another in migration struggles, to think of whether this could be an option. After some initial discussions, on the initiative of the Migrant Solidarity Network, which is a small, self-organised network of activists, we decided to propose the referendum, also as a protest note in direction of the parliamentary actors who, once again, remained inactive. I think this is interesting in a historical perspective, because since Switzerland joined the Schengen area in 2009, there have been several reforms and several increased rounds that led to this explosion of today’s agency, as we know it, and it was always more or less agreed upon in Switzerland without great parliamentary resistance.
“This has a lot to do, obviously, with questions around Schengen and the guillotine clause that is assigned to it [a reference to the referendum held in 2020 on whether or not to end Swiss participation in free movement within the Schengen area], but this criticism has explicitly existed in non-parliamentary circles for many years towards the political parties. This was in September, when we decided to take this step. We were a rather small group of people from mainly self-organised organisations and then, step by step, this No Frontex community or committee (however we want to call it) started to grow, and first it was the young parties of the left-wing parliamentary actors (the young socialists and greens) who joined, and later the so-called mother parties, so the Social Democrats and the Green party officially supported the referendum…
“This does not necessarily mean supporting it with the same goals as the initiators. I think there are a lot of differences, but yes, they supported it. I think in the end it is important to say, when it comes to this No Frontex committee, that from the very beginning until now, is that it stayed a very small core group of people that are (most or almost all) from self-organised networks and migrant communities. I think this also speaks about, when we speak about the role of the bigger parties, even though they do have a lot of resources and possibilities, they stayed quite distant, on the one hand obviously because of their different views on the topic, but also because it is not on their main agenda, the topic of Frontex and the militarisation of the border regime, again, because it is very much linked to the question of Schengen membership.
“The experience of signature collection was interesting for many of us. It was quite difficult when it started, also because it started during the time of corona when physical interactions in the public space were somehow limited anyways, and the daily circle of movement of individuals was much smaller than under normal circumstances, but step by step we tried to mobilise through local committees, asking them to call for orange waves or for orange weekends because we chose this orange campaign colour, and this started somehow to become a thing… so, more and more people started to go out in the streets to collect signatures and I think what we realised then, is that we had to start from the very beginning.
“We decided in the very beginning that one of our main goals was to intervene with progressive or radical perspectives into the public debate, so that we don’t only want to call for a stop to the expenses, but also we wanted to call in favour of freedom of movement for all. So this was our slogan from the start... NO to Frontex, yes to freedom of movement for all, and to put forward this perspective. We were quite far away from bringing this perspective easily to the broader public, because for many people who we talked to in the streets, we had to first explain what Frontex is and why it potentially is a problem. This was on the one hand very interesting, and obviously also very needed, because if we imagine the size of this agency and the consequences of the policy it stands for, then I think that to push for public knowledge is really right at the beginning of pushing for broader resistance.”
Next, we asked about the Abolish Frontex! days of action in support of the referendum, and about whether the important informative and awareness-raising work by the Swiss campaign means that even if the referendum doesn’t succeed, the exercise would have been worthwhile.
Luisa: “These days of action were conceived and planned in support of the Swiss referendum which will take place on 15 May, mainly because, I think, the whole network is very excited and just in awe of how far the campaign for no Frontex in Switzerland has come. It’s an incredible step and a very important one, so the network wanted to organise just to support this initiative and to help make it visible, and hopefully to inspire other actions similar to the Swiss one in other countries, which if it happens (as you said) in the Dutch case, that would be amazing. So, that was the focal point and the way in which the actions are themed is around national contributions to Frontex, and how European countries are involved in what Frontex is, what it does and how they actually make it possible. I think that a lot of times, when we speak of Frontex, we think of this abstract force that we really don’t know how it works, who decides, who makes it, and of course it is member states, it’s our own governments which are actually supporting Frontex, taking decisions within Frontex and so on. So the main thread of these action days will be national contributions. We have focused a lot on the contributions in terms of equipment and officers and how these are in fact the actual backbone of Frontex operations without which Frontex operations could not, to date, function.
“I think this is something that is not very well known to most people, that it’s countries ‘donating’ equipment and officers to Frontex. We want to highlight this, we want to bring it to the public’s attention and we want to show dissent and call for an end to these contributions. There will be actions in the next three days in different countries, in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and the actions vary depending on the national context. So, in some countries you will have a workshop, just to learn what Frontex is, how it works and what member states’ involvement is. In other countries it will be a demonstration, so it really depends on what the need in each country is, which I think is a reason why it’s great to have different national chapters. In terms of scale and impact, I think that working on a topic on which there is very little public awareness, the main thing we would like to achieve is to inform people about how these contributions work and try to mobilise citizens to ask their government to stop these contributions, because they are contributions to violence, essentially, and hopefully that is a good result that we can achieve.”
Lorenz: “That still is a big goal and maybe also a big outcome of the efforts of the last couple of months. On the one hand, we forced parliamentary actors to position themselves, and also forced them into a very uncomfortable decision. We came from a situation where it had become normal to just accept this big explosion, this increase of the mandate and everything. It also came after a lot of years of normalisation of border violence, which, especially in Switzerland, is broadly accepted, or maybe not accepted but ignored by the Swiss public, because it is so easy to hide behind the geographical location of Switzerland, saying, “yes ok, but we are not at the external borders”, while it is clear that Switzerland is a strong driving force for many causes of migration, on the one hand, and also a very stable supporter of the policy of deterrence, ever since.
“In that way, I think we also forced a broader public to at least get in touch with the topic. If they like it or not, whatever their position is, that definitely was interesting. But I think all of us, sometimes, are also a bit sceptical and ask ourselves, ‘should we have done more?’, ‘could we have done more?’, ‘how could we have intervened better?’
In the end it was a mix of what is possible, so we tried to push migrant voices, we tried to break a bit with the narrative that only non-migrant communities talk on the matter, and this on the one hand happened very much, but on the other hand there would have been a lot of space for improvement, and the other big thing was to reach a broader public, which I think we did, because all the main newspapers had to write about it and they had to take into account our demands which means the claim of freedom of movement for all, even though it was obviously not specified what would potentially be meant by it… I think many debates that did happen did really nourish a hopefully sustainable mobilisation and it was clearly (and still is) very positive from my point of view, for example, that a church alliance against Frontex has been built, and I think this is remarkable and good to see, and it reaches a circle [that] from our positions and with the language that we usually use, and the actions we usually pursue, it reaches a circle that we do not really address.”
We asked if this focus on budgets and resources can inform a debate about what individual states can do to rein in Frontex, about the aim to “abolish” Frontex and plans to enhance its human rights compliance, and about whether managing to collect enough signatures to force a referendum was a surprise, and whether it is likely to win.
Luisa: “I like this particular topic just because it is so tangible. A lot of times when we talk of accountability and what can we do with Frontex and what type of disciplinary action can exist and so on… it’s all framed in a way that is so vague and seems very “meta”, whereas this is just so tangible, you can put a number to the amount of resources you are giving every year and you can put a moment in time when these negotiations happen and you can just withdraw these resources and the impact is immediate, you’re just not giving them the equipment they need to conduct human rights violations, to enforce violence... even if you see it just as a slap on the wrist,… with the budget, it comes from the EU institutions so it’s hard; but this is just straightforward, and I think it’s good to highlight a straightforward solution because sometimes everything around Frontex is purposely portrayed as very complex and unattainable when it’s not really that way.”
“In the moment when we started building this campaign, Frontex was often in the news for wrongdoing and of course when you have these instances of violence being exposed there is always the question of ‘what can we do about it’, and the usual dichotomy between reform and abolition appears, so our reading of the situation was that reform doesn’t really make sense because it assumes from the point of departure that the original idea of Frontex was a good one and it was a virtuous idea, and then it somehow got corrupted and went wrong and now we are paying the consequences. If we just fix this, then we can go back to this virtuous idea of a border police force that does no wrong.
“For us, actually, what we see from Frontex every time there is what we call a ‘scandal’, is actually Frontex working precisely in the way that it is built and intended to work and you cannot really dissociate a border police force and the idea of violence, because they are inevitably linked. So, this is why we framed the campaign around abolition, understanding it as a systemic issue, but also because abolition is not just about dismantling the things that we don’t want to exist because they cause harm and endanger lives, but also about the building of alternatives and thinking, if we didn’t have this thing that we think is dangerous for society, then what could we build instead and what would it take and how can these resources be divested and invested into something that creates safety for all? Frontex is just working in the way that it is meant to work. I don’t believe in a border police force that does not cause any violence, it’s quite simply impossible, and you can have more explicit or less explicit violence, but it’s violence nonetheless.
“So, this idea of Frontex just conducting internal investigations and hiring fundamental rights officers and so on, these are essentially patches which, even if you did want to consider reform, I think they are completely insufficient, just because you are giving the police force the power to police itself and, in democratic terms, even if you believe in reform as a way forward, it’s incredibly dangerous. As a transparency activist I see this very often because, for example, Frontex decides whether to release information about their own human rights violations and, of course, the outcome is that they refuse access to over 80% of the questions that they get and this is what happens when you give the perpetrator the power to evaluate and discipline itself. This is not how it’s meant to work. I think that it’s creating a dangerous system that just creates grounds for abuse in the future and we will see each other having these conversations again in a matter of five years when the mechanisms have failed and they have endangered the life of many, many more people.”
Lorenz: “To be honest, before Christmas we were probably not sure if we would come through, I mean we had 100 days to collect 50,000 signatures, during corona, with a small group and without enthusiastic support from the bigger players, let’s say. It was a tough one, and then I think that over Christmas something changed, maybe also because of the alarming messages that we sent out. They caused something, and there was a change and it started to be really moving, and active, and one could also feel it and then, all of a sudden, these letters started coming in, and then, finally, I mean it was really on point, it was really close, we realised it would pass in the last two days, but on the last day we were still sorting out letters and it was needed that we did that. This was already a very big success, and it pushed the debate and now, in the time afterwards, I think we had the opportunity to, on our side, deepen our arguments and bring them to a wider public debate. From that point of view, it was a very positive surprise that it came through.
“When it comes to the outcome, I think it would be nothing other than a wonder, considering that we are already talking about holy things, if we would succeed. But I think we knew this from the beginning, that it would be very hard. Also, in the last few weeks the discussion, quite naturally, did not really focus on Frontex but on other issues of migration around the Russian war in Ukraine, so we know that this will be a very tough road to go down and that most likely, maybe not most likely, but the chances are high that it will not get through.
“This, however, should not be our primary orientation, because in the end it is the orientation of the parliamentary actors and voters and I think what we wanted to do was to embed a topic into its broader field, to bring into the debate the daily resistance that is happening against the migration regime, to shed light on the situation at the EU external borders, to also strengthen anti-racist networks and to create new alliances and to build at least a knowledge ground to create new alliances, and I think that already by doing 50 events, having events in bigger towns but also in smaller villages, and doing collective action days, I think this already activated a lot of people, so I think this is good, also to show that we do intervene in the public debate and that we use these instruments that there are in the ways that we think are useful, and to show the ones in power that we will try different means to go after them in order to counteract this current migration regime.”
The following questions raised the issue that the initial Frontex Regulation, approved in 2004, was already problematic from a human rights perspective, and how the Ukraine conflict represents both a problem and an opportunity, because the European response revealed that previous narratives were laden with lies regarding the risks posed by refugees.
Luisa: “I think it’s the problem of just creating conditions that are liable to be abused and then giving these conditions to a law enforcement actor, it’s quite obviously a recipe for disaster and it seems we haven’t learned anything from the past years. Now, we are having these conversations about Frontex accountability and what went wrong in terms of how do we find ourselves seeing all these pushback allegations and no one knew anything and nobody did anything, when Frontex theoretically already has mechanisms in place to deal with this sort of situations, and yet none of them actively prevented violence like this. Of course, when you build the control mechanisms within the actor that is supposed to be controlled, then it’s over. Self-control is not a thing that you want to put your bet on, especially when working on such a sensitive issue like the lives of people already in a vulnerable situation. But there is just no learning from this, and we see the same cycles of policy just being repeated, but then you also see the level of danger escalating and it’s just a very dangerous recipe.”
Lorenz: “Yes. We wrote a text on our blog about it [the welcome given to Ukranian refugees] on our webpage and one of our spokespersons, Malik, who is also part of AlarmPhone and originally comes from Syria, who crossed into Europe in 2015 with the March of Hope. He, I think, formulated it in a very smart and very sensitive way where he said that yes, of course, it hurts, these double standards hurt because they are nothing but racist… and when a minister in Switzerland says that they treat Ukrainians with another security standard because they still need to uphold security standards for people from Syria and Afghanistan due to terrorist threats, then it’s obviously something that makes you think of everybody who had to endure the journey and the violence linked to it some years ago, and at the same time he said, but, what this crisis shows, is that the border regime is only based on political decisions, nothing of the arguments that have been given to us in the last years are true, not that there is not enough money, not that it is needed because we cannot handle an influx of people, all of that are just lies and we now have the possibility to demand the solidarity that the people from Ukraine rightfully receive for everybody.
“This, from my point of view, has to be the position. Then, I think, regarding Frontex, that you can start playing around with their role, saying ‘ok, you [will] have in 2027 10,000 border guards and €1.2 billion as a budget, with this invested in a humanitarian sense, a lot could be done, you could not talk of any kind of problems anymore.’ As the Defund Frontex campaign showed, you could finance a whole fleet in the Mediterranean with that money, or with a third of that money. So, I think it’s important from which direction you look at this. I found that what he [Malik] says was quite interesting because he did not lose himself in an argument of frustration, but he tried to turn it around and say, it’s time to demand what we demand ever since.”
We then turned to the systemic problem of Frontex’s analytical and advisory roles, and about whether the campaign for a Swiss referendum can be considered a success, regardless of its outcome, due to the way it has shed light on the problematic structural aspects of Frontex.
Luisa: “I think there is one specific area of concern for me regarding Frontex’s analytical capabilities and how this is instrumentalised, because of the way in which Frontex is constructed. I find this interesting because it works so efficiently for them. You have in one actor a triple role that is just cyclical: so, you have an actor that has an analysis that we don’t really know exactly how this happens, so we don’t really understand what are their sources and how they do these metrics, what sort of factors they take into account, but anyways they have an analysis of the situation at the European borders and a diagnosis. So this is one of the roles. They have another role, which is that they are also in charge of prescribing their solution, which, of course, because they are who they are, is always going to be ‘we need more border control’. We have seen this prescribed solution being exactly the same at very different moments in time at the EU level, we see this way before 2015, we see this in 2016 in the middle of what was labelled as the refugee crisis, we see this also at a moment when arrivals were dropping drastically and we see it again now as well, at a moment when we have a war at our borders and great numbers of arrivals because of this dramatic situation.
“So it’s always the same recipe, whatever the analysis is, but this is their role as well. And then of course they have another third role, which is, at the end of the day, as the recipients of the benefits that the solutions that are proposing will carry, which means, of course, that if you need more border control, then you need a stronger Frontex. Hence, after all of these regulatory changes for greater powers, greater budget, this is how you basically have an agency that was born with a €5m budget and a tiny staff, and in a matter of a decade it’s skyrocketing its budget, its power, its staff, the ability to get its own equipment, it’s building its own autonomy and it is just this vicious circle where you have the analytical, the prescription and the beneficiary working all the time in such a non-contested way, because you see the media reproducing their analysis, you see policymakers reproducing the solutions that they are prescribing and everyone cheers. Frontex is just working for its own self-benefit, building itself up, and that, to me, is of great concern, because even if you think of it in democratic terms, we would never have this at any other point in what you would call theoretical policymaking, this is not independent analysis, this is not an independent prescription of solutions, and it is a big conflict of interests that has the effects we are seeing now.
“This, to me, is a great source of concern and I think it is something that we need to have a big chat about, because it is not only about what Frontex actually does on the ground, which is very visible and very tangible because it’s so raw, like pushbacks or someone dying in a case of non-assistance at sea, for example. But it’s actually more about how Frontex builds itself up, and the more it does so, the more difficult it will then become to hold it to account.”
Lorenz: “From my point of view, [the campaign for a referendum can] definitely [be considered a success]. I’m an overly positive person so I think there may be other people within the committee who have different opinions. It’s also a fact that it cost a lot of resources especially if you are a small group, and it also demands a lot of discussions when a committee is so newly put together. I think when looking back or when looking at the moment, at this stage where we are now until mid-May, there will be 40+ events, there will be bus tours into small cities and into market places, there will be big events in the city and there will be a huge appearance on the 1st of May. So I do think that there were many connections points, for example, with the climate movement that took a very strong position against Frontex and also to link the militarisation of the border regime on the one hand to the causes of migration, but also to the destruction of nature due to the militarisation of the physical border regime, and also feminist positions on the patriarchal logic of militarisation, so I think this has all had very good and needed effects, that from my point of view are very valuable.
“So, yes, of course, I think that regardless of the result there are positive outcomes, not least because it also, again, shows the very blind spots of this seemingly inclusive democracy where still one third of all people are excluded from it due to a racist migration and asylum system. So, I think the ones who are affected, they are on the one hand excluded from the right to vote but also they are often also excluded from the debate, because who is debating in public, especially in the places with a lot of reach? It will not be the people affected by the migration regime. So, I think that there were and are discussions going on that are needed and I think that the referendum is a very good instrument to use from time to time – not always and not too much – to intervene or to make a stand.”
Finally, we enquired about the supposed neutrality of Frontex as a potential problem, and about how the Frontex referendum fits within the wider mobilisation across Europe.
Luisa: “You also see this dynamic play into many other aspects of what Frontex does, for example in the research and innovation part of it, they have acquired the capability of advising where European research funds need to be invested. That is extremely interesting but it’s also very dangerous because, once again, they have a self-serving interest in what needs to be investigated and they will not advise the European Commission to invest in technologies to prevent the loss of life at sea or they will not encourage for example the European Commission to invest in studies around better visa granting systems and how we can make that more efficient to create safe routes for arrival. They will ask the European Commission to invest in facial recognition technology that they can then purchase and use for greater surveillance. So, it’s the fact that we have independent advice from someone that is everything but independent and extremely self-serving, which is very concerning, for sure.”
Lorenz: “I think there are links at many levels. I think, for us, from the beginning, it was very important to embed the referendum within a broader network of resistance against the border regime. This, on the one hand, obviously means the self-organised daily resistance by people on the move against border regimes, the ones who do protests or ignore the border regime by continuing to cross. It is also meant as a sign [of solidarity] towards people on the move. This is also something that Malik said, when he was in 2015 on the road and they knew that there is a strong resistance movement within the cities, this gave them strength and motivation. This, for sure, is one side of it.
“Then, of course, it [the referendum campaign] also stands in solidarity with all the work on the topic that has been done before. The demands are very much inspired from international networks like Watch the Med/AlarmPhone and others. Also, the knowledge that we use that we were able to build up on was very strongly also linked to networks like Abolish Frontex! and I think also many people involved are linked in one way or another to either local self-organised groups or networks that organise against the migration system or the camp systems, or are part of transnational networks or structures that to try to organise against the deterrence regime.
“So, for sure this is very interconnected and for us it was very important to do that and not to behave as if we had produced this from scratch but that we obviously build upon very diverse and developing networks and practices of resistance that exist along all migration routes, I think, and this we tried to include somehow in the communication, obviously, and this was also a challenge because of course on the one hand we need to address the Swiss public with this fact, as you said, that millions per year are spent for this brutal and deadly regime for an army in its war against migration and on the other hand we also wanted to bring the realities on the external borders to the Swiss public, so it was always an act of balance on what to focus and which arguments to follow up on. I think this is how in the end we came to where we now are.”
A last question for Lorenz was how the referendum can contribute to attempts to oppose problematic practices by member states, such as pushbacks and violence, often supported by the Commission and Frontex.
Lorenz: “I find it difficult to say. What I hope, what we do is to make visible who is responsible for this. This is still one of the main goals, I think that one of the strengths of Frontex is that it seems a faraway agency that is hardly graspable and that it also has by its monitoring and reporting mechanism system a corrector. It was built not to be controlled, which makes it very easy to organise around Frontex this kind of horrible regime, while everybody, maybe, in a personal exchange would say ‘yes, this is a horrible regime, but we don’t have anything to do with it’.
“So what we wanted to do (and still want to do) is to make this connection clear, and to make it very clear that there is this a responsibility in society, in parliamentary politics and obviously also in the private sector in all of that, and so, to bring this responsibility to where it belongs, and to confront people with that and to maybe make people feel uncomfortable, because in that way maybe they start to realise that they put this system in practice, which is completely inhuman and based on a systematisation of violence.
“I think it is like many other strategies to counteract the migration regime, I think this is an additional one, and one that we could use to put effective pressure on the ones in power and to put them in a position where they have to talk in public about what is happening, and I think this is something that is not necessarily comfortable and that we definitely should use if we can.
“Within that, media also have to report about it to a certain degree, which also means that at least some of them start to dig deeper, which also brings out the needed points and also the direct involvement, for example, that Switzerland can have. At the moment still there is a loud demand out there that Switzerland needs to make public the roles of their representatives on the executive board had on the matter that was examined by the OLAF anti-corruption agency, and obviously they do not do that, so you can also point to the channel of problems that you have with the security and surveillance institutions of the state that are highly intransparent even though they are involved in the most fundamental areas of human rights. So also at that level of demands it is an important and excellent opportunity.”