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EU leaders need 6 months to consider Juncker’s controversial Border Agency

A friendly pinch on the cheek, a pat on the shoulder. Exactly the same style European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker uses for the prime ministers and finance ministers of the EU. This time it was the majority of EU leader who had to comfort Juncker’s frustration and tell him to wait for another 6 months, until they have thoroughly reviewed his controversial plan on the new Border Guards Agency.

tsipras juncker

Juncker

Venizelos Juncker

The EU leaders told Juncker that they “generally accept” his controversial plan to establish a new Border Guards Agency that will be able to intervene without a EU member state consent, but that they cannot accept such a plan without previously check the legal issue of cancelliing a state’s national sovereignty. They told Juncker, Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande that “they will think about it”  so around summer 2016.

“Leaders discussed incendiary proposals tabled by the European Commission this week creating an EU border and coast guard empowered to overrule national governments when the EU’s external frontiers are deemed to be inadequately secured.

The commission proposal won strong support on Thursday from the German and French leaders, but in many parts of the EU is viewed as an assault on the sovereignty of nation states. They agreed to come up with a position by next summer.”

One of the major problems for the EU to tackle the Refugee Crisis is the unwillingness of the EU member states to implement the agreed “share quotas of refugees” Merkel’s initiative “coalition of the willing” has attracted only 8 of the 28 EU countries.

And the facts are depressing. According to a paper issued by Luxembourg that holds the rotating EU Presidency:

From 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy, only 184 have been relocated to other EU countries. The relocation numbers & quotas were agreed in the EU Summit in September.

From the 22,000 refugees to be taken from camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan only 600 have been relocated.

From the 11 “reception centers/hot spots” planned for Greece and Italy only 2 are operational. One on the Italian island of Lampedusa and the other on the Greek island of Lesbos.

Another major problem is that Turkey has so far done nothing or much too little to implement the 3-billion-euro agreement with the EU to stop the flow of refugees and migrants crossing the Aegean Sea.

According to the same report by Luxembourg that evaluates the effectiveness of its strategy to try reduce migration by getting Turkey to tighten its borders in return :

Turkey deal to curb migration has done little to slow the number of people fleeing war and poverty across the Mediterranean to Europe. at.

Around 4,000 people have been landing daily this month in Greece from Turkey.

That marks only “a slight reduction” compared to November, when 5,000-6,000 people were arriving, the report said, adding it was not clear that the decline was related to the Nov 29 deal struck by Brussels with Ankara to try curb the migrant flow.

“This decrease may … be attributed to other factors,” said the report seen by AFP.

Most probably the “other factors” are the bad weather conditions and not Turkey’s efforts.

French President Francois Hollande showed his discontent and said

“We agreed a certain number of rules with Turkey. If we can’t get control of our external borders, then we can’t go further on the promises we made to Turkey.”

The EU promised Turkey 3 billion euro in cash and opening some ‘frozen’ chapters that could help Turkey’s accession to the European Union, sometime in the 22nd century.

Facts are

  • the EU is still unable to tackle the refugee Crisis
  • majority of EU member states refuse to comply with the things their leaders agreed upon
  • Turkey does very little despite the EU’s gifts

…but the good intentions count.

 

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One comment

  1. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    So now they try it again with joint patrols and have a stiff from the nice “side effect it has on the Greek-Turkish relations and EU-integration of Turkey”; regarding Merkel’s special minister for migration Fatty Altmaier.