EU plans new border force

The European Commission wants to create a border agency that could take control of the EU’s external frontiers, according to documents seen by euronews on Friday.
The EU executive’s white paper proposes replacing its current border agency, Frontex, with a permanent border force and coastguard.
The new force would be able to hire its own guards, buy its own equipment and step in if it felt a country had lost control of its borders.
It comes as EU leaders struggle to form a coherent strategy to deal with the influx of refugees and migrants.
A senior EU official said that a reserve force would be formed of between 1,000 to 2,000 people, which could be mobilised within three days.
However, the Commission document obtained by euronews mentions a figure of 1,500.
The new agency would also be able to deport people who do not have the right to remain in Europe — a power that Frontex lacked.
It would also be permitted to intervene in non-EU countries if those countries requested assistance.
But this proposal will need the backing of EU member states before it can become a reality.
EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss migration and terrorism; the commission’s white paper will also be on the agenda.
But the EU plan to create a new border force that could intervene in a country without the permission of the government is already under fire.
Poland came out against the proposal on Sunday, which is supported by France and Germany.
“This means creating an institution, which would decide arbitrarily on its actions without the (concerned) member state’s participation,” Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying in an interview.
Hungary has also added its voice to the chorus of discord; Péter Szijjártó, the country’s foreign minister, told euronews in an interview on Monday that Budapest also opposed the plans.
“i don’t think it would be appropriate to have a new kind of regulation which could force any member state to have any kind of measures regarding border patrolling which is against the willingness of that given country,” he said.
Officials in Brussels argue that a strengthening of the EU’s external borders is needed to save the Schengen zone, the bloc’s passport free travel area.
But this proposal will need the backing of EU member states before it can become a reality.

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