Europe, World

EU Agrees to Toughen Up on Deportations

On Thursday, the governments of the European Union agreed to toughen up on deportations of illegal immigrants and discussed measures for coping with the influx of refugees due to the Syrian civil war. One suggested measure was creating a border guard force for keeping them out. At a meeting held in Luxembourg, the interior ministers stated that they could deter constant migration with increased return rates. Those who would flee before expulsion would be subjected to ‘detention’. The agreement also discussed offering aid budgets to African states as well as others for accepting the refugees who would be denied entry into Europe.

Later, delegations from Lebanon, Turkey, Balkan States and Jordan as well as EU regulators also joined the meeting for discussing ways to stem the flow of migrants that has caused a rift amongst member countries regarding how to deal with the burden of the refugees and secure the external borders of the EU. Funding is being offered by the EU to neighboring states to encourage them to provide support to the Syrian refugees and cooperate in migration control. Thomas de Maiziere, the German Interior Minister said that returns weren’t easy and they could only provide support and space to refugees who need it if others were returned quickly.

Less than 40% of people have left the EU after their claims for asylum were rejected. Better cooperation is also being discussed in regard to external frontiers, the Mediterranean in particular as hundreds of thousands of refugees have used this route for traveling north. This has even prompted countries in the Schengen area of Europe to temporary ban passport-free travel. Backing up a call made on Wednesday by President Francois Hollande, Bernard Cazeneuve, who is the French Interior Minister said that the Frontex borders agency of the EU should be beefed up.

He also suggested that a complete European Border Guard service should be created and given the authority to deal with matters of the EU frontiers that couldn’t be handled by national authorities. According to the Ministers, there had been widespread agreement to assist those who have external EU borders, although some were also focused on keeping national sovereignty intact. Over the past six months, the EU officials have put forward some measures that these meetings are an effort for implementing them. This week, negotiations were initiated with Turkey where almost half of the four million Syrian refugees are temporarily residing and the purpose was to discourage them from traveling to the EU.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor had welcomed more Syrians, which hadn’t been taken well by some eastern neighbors. On Wednesday, she clarified in a speech that Europe would also do everything to expel and deter refugees who come into the country illegally every year in search for prosperity. Some other elements of the migration policy announced by the EU involve boosting identification procedures on arrival in Greece and Italy and increasing the amount of aid for refugees in the Middle East. EU states have also been having problems in settling the refugees. 

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