- Twelve countries in the European Union insist on building more fences on Europe’s external borders.
- This demand is fueling unwanted immigration through Belarus to the European Union and reports of illegal pushbacks at the Croatian border.
- Physical barriers are effective border protection measures that will serve the interests of the entire European Union, according to a letter from the interior ministries of a dozen countries.
The demand for more barbed wire and fences has brought Poland, Austria and ten other European Union countries to the negotiating table. In their view, these border protection measures should be funded “additionally and appropriately from the EU budget”.
They recorded this in a letter to the responsible EU Commissioners Elva Johansson and Margaritis Schinas. The letter is dated the day before Friday’s meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg and is available to dpa.
Negative initial feedback
Home Inspector Johansson met dozens of thoughts with little sympathy. After the ministerial meeting, Al-Suwaidi said: You have nothing against the EU countries building fences. But is it a good idea to use EU money for this? “I do not think so.”
It is clear that Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, opposed the demand for more border protection. He was “no” in favor of building more walls. You have to know who is coming to the EU – but he is definitely against putting all immigrants in detention camps.
Germany, France, Spain and other countries with a large number of asylum applications did not sign the letter. Instead, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Denmark were included.
Poland built walls that are kilometers long
With their demands, the twelve interior ministers referred to, among other things, the situation on the borders between Belarus and EU countries such as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Belarus Governor Alexander Lukashenko has accused of bringing migrants from crisis regions to the external borders of the European Union in an orderly manner.
Lukashenko deliberately wanted to destabilize the international community and was responding to EU sanctions. Therefore, the EU’s legal framework must be changed in such a way that “attempts to exploit illegal immigration for political aims and other mixed threats” can be adequately addressed.
Poland, Lithuania and Latvia have already responded with reinforced border guards and started building hundreds of kilometers of border fences. Several people have already died in the border area between Poland and Belarus.
Border reactions fuel controversy
The debate is also taking place against the background of recent reports of the illegal and sometimes brutal rejection of people seeking protection at the EU’s external borders in Croatia and Greece.
Video recordings from a European research network, which became public this week, documented serious human rights abuses on the Croatian border with Bosnia.
Meanwhile, the Greek coast guard is accused of putting asylum seekers on lifeboats, dragging them back into the open sea and then leaving them to their own devices. Such allegations have been made several times in the past against both countries.
Luxembourg Foreign Minister Asselborn called on the European Union Commission to intervene quickly, saying, “This is not possible in Europe.”
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