Border force of 10,000 for Europe not feasible
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.