Politics

EU Considers Creating New Border Security Agency To Better Handle Migrant Crisis

| by Robert Fowler
Syrian Refugees in Vienna, Austria.Syrian Refugees in Vienna, Austria.

The European Union unveiled plans to create a more powerful border control and coast guard on Dec. 15. The proposed government body would better confront the migration crisis that has weakened Europe’s security.

The EU Commission, which serves as the executive branch of the union, proposed the creation of a new border security force that would replace the current Frontex agency in handling border defense. Funding would reach $354 million by 2020, roughly triple Frontex’s current budget. It will also include a staff of 1,000 by 2020, Reuters reports.

The plan would have 1,500 personnel on standby, ready to be deployed to borders on short notice.

Around 920,000 migrants have entered the 28-member EU in 2015, many fleeing from the war-torn countries of Iraq and Syria. Frontline nations such as Greece, which had 770,000 migrants pass through its border this year, have been overwhelmed and have been unable to register even half of their in-transit immigrants, The Associated Press reports.

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This failure has enraged countries such as Germany and France, which have seen their national security weakened as migrants who have not been registered stream through Greece and Italy.

To combat this issue, the EU has included the condition that this new agency would have the authority to intervene in the border security of any participating nation with or without its consent. This has caused concern among EU nations, who fear that their sovereignty could be compromised.

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski called the provision “shocking,” AFP reports.

EU officials have said the plan is necessary and will not violate a country’s sovereignty.

"We don't replace member states' responsibilities and definitely not their sovereignty," said Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, according to Reuters.

"What we are creating today is more Europe,” Avramopoulos added. “To manage our external borders, to step up returns of irregular migrants, to allow our asylum system to function properly for this in need and to strengthen checks at the external borders."

EU leaders will discuss the proposal during a Dec. 17-18 summit, AFP reports.

Sources: Reuters via Trust.Org, AP via The Washington Post, AFP via Yahoo News / Photo Credit: Josh Zakary / Flickr