As the European Commissioners hear complaints against several European Union member states, including Greece, regarding the opposition to the entry of illegal migrants and the violation of human rights by the EU border service,
12 countries, including Cyprus and Greece, have sent a letter to the European Commission, calling for tougher measures to protect Europe’s borders from migration flows.
“Recent developments at the external borders of the European Union indicate that the EU needs to adapt the existing legal framework to new realities, which will allow us to adequately counter attempts to use illegal migration for political purposes and other hybrid threats,” said the ministers in charge of migration policy from Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia in a letter addressed to Vice-President of the Commission Margaritis Shinas and Commissioner of Internal Affairs Ilva Johansson.
It is no coincidence that the letter was sent on Thursday, on the eve of Friday’s meeting of the EU Interior Council, which was held in Luxembourg.
The letter states that the Schengen Border Code “does not sufficiently take into account the illegal crossing of external land and sea borders. There are no clear rules on what actions Member States can take in the event of a hybrid attack characterized by an artificially created large-scale influx of illegal migrants supported, organized and / or pushed by a third country. ” Moreover, it is noted that the code does not provide for “any measures other than monitoring the border … to prevent illegal border crossings”, and it would be useful to supplement monitoring with “more preventive measures”.
Finally, the letter calls for the erection of physical barriers to protect the external borders of the EU, acting as “an effective measure of border protection that serves the interests of the entire EU, not just the first-arrival member states.” As a matter of priority, this legal measure should be additionally and adequately financed from the EU budget ”. The letter also called for the construction of a fence on the Cyprus Green Line separating the Greek-held sector from the Turkish-occupied breakaway north.
Johansson, condemning the resistance and pressuring Greece and other countries to investigate, said at a press conference that while she understands the decisions of some countries to erect physical barriers, she does not think they should be funded from the EU budget.
Earlier, Ms Johansson actually demanded that Frontex open the borders of the European Union for migrants and sharply criticized Greece and Croatia, which, according to the European Commissioner, “carry out repressions against illegal migrants, detaining them at the border and forcing them to return back.”
PS It seems that the Greek Minister for Migrants Nikos Mitarakis and his colleague Nikos Dendis will have to endure a real battle with the “Commissioner”, who fiercely defends the policy of open borders of the European Union