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EU leaders have agreed to fund “pilot projects” to strengthen border controls with European money

The EU is taking its toughest stance yet against immigration, which is controlled by the right-wing and far-right. The tightening of border control has become one of the priorities of the Group of 27, judging by the conclusions of the European Council, to the detriment of positions such as Spain, which supports the improvement of relations with countries of origin and transit. The migration phenomenon from a positive perspective – cooperation, cooperation or assistance – and not restrictive. One of the leaders’ decisions at a marathon meeting this Thursday, which lasted until dawn, was to ask the Commission to fund measures by member states to contribute to the control of the EU’s external borders, such as “pilot border management projects. “.

At a subsequent press conference, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen specified that two pilot projects will be funded, which will be provided with an “integrated package of mobile and stationary infrastructure” that includes watchtowers, cameras, etc. “One of the projects has a fence and it’s not working well,” explained the community’s chief executive, who has always maintained that Brussels could not finance the construction of walls to separate Bulgaria from Turkey, as some countries insist. such as Hungary, Austria and others from the East and against the criteria of the President of the Council of Europe, Charles Michel.

“There is no money for this in the European budget. If we spend money on billboards, there won’t be money for anything else,” said Internal Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson a few days ago, who presented a strategy for the return of asylum-seeking migrants. High percentages low. Gradually, many countries became aware of this and von der Leyen sent a letter to member states talking about strengthening staff, controlling and funding infrastructure and equipment, and facilitating a pilot project, but focused on returns. .

What now appears in the European Council conclusions is a directive to the European Commission to “immediately mobilize significant funds and means to support Member States to strengthen their border protection capacities and infrastructure, surveillance assets, including aerial surveillance and equipment”. This means, in the view of Austrian Chancellor Karl Neuhammer, that the EU will give countries more means in the form of vehicles or staff so that they can allocate their own funds to “strengthen the fence”, or ultimately finance. The ability to erect physical boundaries, reports Politico.

In recent days, the countries with the most anti-immigration stances have intensified the debate by asking the European Council to fund border control infrastructure. Austria went so far as to threaten to block the conclusions of the 27th Extraordinary Summit. Eight countries – led by Austria, including Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Slovakia, Malta, Estonia and Lithuania – were sent ahead of the summit. A letter to the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council asking them to allocate more funds and resources to protect the external borders.

The stance has alarmed European social democrats, who have already warned of a turn of events they blame on the Swedish presidency, whose government is based on far-right support, during a recent meeting of interior ministers. “We cannot accept this sharp turn to the right and use European funds to build a ‘prison Europe’.” “Every euro on the billboard is a euro that is not used to save and help people,” said Iratxe Garcia, head of the group, at the end of the leaders’ meeting.

“Spain does not share the vision of security that many countries offer,” admitted Pedro Sánchez at the end of the meeting at a press conference, where he insisted that “the issue of migration can be solved by strengthening cooperation with countries of origin and transit.” . “It’s not going to be solved by fences or higher walls,” he said.

During the Rotary presidency of the EU, it is largely up to Spain to lead the debate on the migration pact, and everyone involved hopes that the deal it is now resisting will be closed during that time. Nevertheless, the head of the executive left the final decision on the funding of the billboards to the commission, despite Spain’s refusal. “This is not what we stand for,” he admitted, before assuring them they would negotiate “to compromise and agree”.

The European Council also went a step further on this topic in its latest conclusions, which made clear its intention to apply restrictive visa measures to countries that do not facilitate the return of migrants.

Source: El Diario





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