Bor­der force of 10,000 for Europe not fea­si­ble

Shanghai Daily - - WORLD - (AFP)

THE Euro­pean Union’s flag­ship plan for a 10,000-strong blocwide bor­der and coast­guard force in two years ex­ceeds “what is fea­si­ble,” the EU’s Aus­trian pres­i­dency has said.

“We have noth­ing to gain from writ­ing 10,000 on pa­per and then they do not re­ally ex­ist, and that is why the timetable is be­ing ex­tended,” Aus­tria’s in­te­rior min­is­ter Her­bert Kickl said.

He spoke in­stead of a “grad­ual buildup” dur­ing the next seven-year EU bud­get from 2021 to 2027.

Aus­tria was host­ing a meet­ing of EU in­te­rior min­is­ters in Brus­sels to dis­cuss on­go­ing plans to curb mi­gra­tion.

The EU is try­ing to boost its de­fenses against fu­ture mi­grant surges after hav­ing sharply re­duced ar­rivals since a 2015 peak as a re­sult of co­op­er­a­tion with Turkey and Libya.

The last surge fu­eled di­vi­sions across the bloc — par­tic­u­larly over a plan to re­lo­cate tens of thou­sand of asy­lum seek­ers among EU mem­ber states.

Front­line coun­tries Italy, Greece and Spain ex­pressed fears that bor­der guards re­cruited from other mem­ber coun­tries would erode their na­tional sovereignty if de­ployed to their ter­ri­tory dur­ing a cri­sis.

And Poland said that funds for the force might mean less money for roads and other in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects.

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