Information collected by EUROSUR with regard to the recent shipwreck tragedy in Greece

Eleftherios Chelioudakis made this Informationsfreiheit request to Europäische Agentur für die operative Zusammenarbeit an den Außengrenzen

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Eleftherios Chelioudakis

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

My name is Eleftherios Chelioudakis and with this email I represent the Greek civil society organization Homo Digitalis, under my role as the Secretary of the Board of Directors.

Homo Digitalis is a prominent CSO based in Athens, Greece with a proved track record of important actions in the field of technology-led border management activities. We are also members of the European Digital Rights (EDRi) network.

With this request, Homo Digitalis aims at acquiring more information that will shed light upon the tragic and deadly shipwreck that took place last week in Greece.

Specifically, according to news reports (https://apnews.com/article/migrants-ship...) on Friday 9/6, an old fishing trawler left eastern Libya for Italy, carrying approx. 750 people. The ship was already travelling for more than full 4 days in the Mediterranean sea, when around 11 a.m. Greek time on Tuesday 13/6, Italian authorities informed Greece that a fishing trawler packed with people was in international waters southwest of the Peloponnese. Greek authorities stated to the journalists that the Italian authorities were alerted by an activist who has been contacted by a passenger of this trawler. According to the same news report, a surveillance aircraft from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency spotted the overcrowded trawler at 11:47 a.m. Greek time on Tuesday 13/6 and notified Greek authorities about its exact location. At 2:04 a.m. Greek time on Wednesday 14/6, the Hellenic Coast guard reported that the trawler began rocking violently from side to side, and then capsized, leading to more than 78 confirmed deaths and more than 500 people missing.

However, we are skeptical about this narrative. Specifically, we are well aware of the fact that the European Border Surveillance system (hereinafter EUROSUR) is a framework for information exchange and cooperation between Member States and Frontex to improve situational awareness and increase reaction capability at the external borders, aiming at contributing to the protection of migrants' lives, especially in the Mediterranean sea. Frontex is responsible for coordinating the EUROSUR Fusion Services. More precisely, the agency shares information collected from satellites and other surveillance tools such as the drones used by the European Maritime Safety Agency or other technologies used by the EU Satellite Centre with Member States (https://home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/polici...).

So, there are important questions that arise from this very tragic and deadly event, such as how an iron vessel of a considerable size remained undetected by Frontex and EUROSUR's expensive technologies for more than 4 days in the Mediterranean sea.

Thus, under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, on behalf of Homo Digitalis and as an EU citizen, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

1)Did drones and/or satellites of EUROSUR or any other border monitoring system, conducted patrols/ were under operation in the area in which this trawler was travelling (south of Libya to Italy) in the Mediterranean sea from 9/6 to 13/6?

2)Was Frontex aware of the existence of this vessel before Tuesday 13/6, by the EUROSUR or other border monitoring systems capabilities?

2a)If Frontex was aware, when did it inform the Greek and Italian coast guards about the situation, as obliged by the EUROSUR regulation, so that further monitoring of the vessel could take place, and rescue operations could be conducted?

2b)If Frontex was not aware, what are the reasons that led to the failure of the EUROSUR system, which presents itself as a solid solution for monitoring EU external borders in the Mediterranean region, and protecting human lives, leading to this tragic and deadly shipwreck.

We anticipate with great interest any document that provides answers to the above-mentioned questions.
We remain at your disposal, for any clarification.

Yours faithfully,
Eleftherios Chelioudakis, Secretary of the BoD of Homo Digitalis

Europäische Agentur für die operative Zusammenarbeit an den Außengrenzen

New information regarding your application is available under this link
[1]https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
Token: I7NSGTGET7
Email: [FOI #13178 email]
Case Id: PAD-2023-00224

Please be informed that the link is valid until Friday, 22 August 2025

[2]Frontex
European Border and Coast Guard Agency
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland
Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501
[3]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex
, unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely
for the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

References

Visible links
1. https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
3. http://frontex.europa.eu/

Eleftherios Chelioudakis

Dear European Border and Coast Guard Agency,

The EU institutions then have the obligation to answer within 15 working days to access to information requests. In exceptional cases, an extension of 15 further working days can be applied request.
However, more than 32 working days have passed since I filled my request and I only have received an email from you on 22/6 that my request for information has been forwarded to the Media and Public Relations Office.

I look forward to receiving you reply to my requested documents and information.

Yours faithfully,

Eleftherios Chelioudakis

Europäische Agentur für die operative Zusammenarbeit an den Außengrenzen

New information regarding your application is available under this link
[1]https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
Token: WDY59U39O8
Email: [FOI #13178 email]
Case Id: PAD-2023-00224

Please be informed that the link is valid until Thursday, 09 October 2025

[2]Frontex
European Border and Coast Guard Agency
Plac Europejski 6, 00-844 Warsaw, Poland
Tel: +48 22 205 9500 · Fax: +48 22 205 9501
[3]www.frontex.europa.eu

DISCLAIMER: This e-mail message, including any attachments, cannot be
construed as automatically constituting any form of commitment by Frontex
, unless its contents clearly indicate otherwise. It is intended solely
for the use of the addressee(s). Any unauthorised disclosure, use or
dissemination, either in whole or in part, is prohibited. If you have
received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately via
e-mail and delete the e-mail from your system.

References

Visible links
1. https://pad.frontex.europa.eu/PadCases/P...
3. http://frontex.europa.eu/