MIGRATION IN FOCUS
FORTRESS EUROPE: A group of 12 EU countries is calling on Brussels to toughen border measures against migrants — ahead of a discussion on the reform of the Schengen Borders Code, which governs the EU’s joint travel area.
New world order: Europe “needs to adapt the existing legal framework to the new realities,” such as the “instrumentalisation of illegal migration,” reads a letter signed by Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia, obtained by Playbook. You can read it in full here. [PDF]
Don’t mention pushbacks: The “p” word is not mentioned, but some diplomats are already referring to the proposal as a call to “legalize pushbacks.”
Verbatim: The letter calls for “safeguards in the EU law allowing Member States to act swiftly and proportionally to the threat, in defence of their national security and the security of whole EU,” arguing that “in practice border surveillance does not stop persons from attempting illegal border crossings and it would therefore be useful to complement it with further preventive measures.”
Build the wall (with EU money): “Physical barrier appears to be an effective border protection measure that serves the interest of whole EU,” the letter reads. “This legitimate measure should be additionally and adequately funded from the EU budget as a matter of priority.”
Not part of it: France, Germany and Spain — the countries that get the most asylum applications — did not sign the letter.
JHA DISCUSSION: The EU’s home affairs ministers meet in Luxembourg today. On the agenda is a discussion on strengthening the EU’s external borders, and the question of screening and detaining migrants who arrive at the border. They will also exchange views on different migration routes.