The Commission is today recommending that Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway phase out the temporary controls currently in place at some of their internal Schengen borders over the next six months. However an important number of irregular migrants and asylum seekers are still present in Greece and more efforts are needed to accelerate the processing of asylum applications, increase relocation and to ensure the resumption of Dublin transfers to Greece. The Commission therefore considers it justified that the Council allows the Schengen States concerned, as a last resort measure and only after having examined alternative measures, to prolong the current temporary internal border controls one last time for a limited period of six months.
During an official visit to Haiti after the appointment of a new Government, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimicaannounced a new EU aid package. The first of which is a special allocation of €18.5 million in response to Hurricane Matthew which hit the island in October 2016. The EU had also provided initial emergency relief last year when the hurricane struck the country. The second part of support through the signature with the Prime Minister S.E.M Jack Guy Lafontant is a €45 million agreement for the construction of the National Road #3, connecting Port-au-Prince to the northern town of Cap Haitian, the second biggest town and port of Haiti.
The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission have today adopted a Joint Communication proposing a forward- looking EU strategy for Syria. As outlined in the Joint Communication, the European Union’s engagement in Syria goes beyond the current state of play. It is defined by a longer term perspective in support of the EU’s strategic goals on Syria. The European Union will continue to be the first and leading donor in the international response to the humanitarian crises, providing life-saving humanitarian assistance and resilience support to the Syrian people and neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.
Kosovo’s Minister of Justice, Dhurata Hoxha has met today with the vice president of the European Parliament and rapporteur on Kosovo, Ulrike Lunacek. Lunacek’s visit takes place after the publication of the Progress Report on Kosovo by the European Commission, a report which identifies Kosovo’s positive steps and the criteria that must be delivered in order for the country to benefit from the visa liberalization regime.
The European Commission has decided to establish a European border and coast guard to ensure a strong and shared management of external borders. Regarding the principle of free movement of people, the new control body will protect the Schengen area and control migratory flows, through systematic inspections, based on the comparison with relevant databases.
“The european coast guard and border – said Frans Timmermans, first Vice President of the European Commission – will identify any weaknesses in real time, thanks to the collective capacity to effectively manage crisis situations, in which a section of the external borders is subjected to pressure”. The new body will have a reserve team fast coastguard and a park of technical equipment made available by the Member States: the Agency will be able to count on at least 1.500 experts, whose intervention can be deployed within three days, obviating the need for workers or equipment for operations.
It will set up a monitoring and risk analysis centre to control migration flows in the EU and to analyze risk and vulnerability assessments of weaknesses. Europe also enshrines a right to intervene: the Member States can apply for joint operations and rapid border interventions.
In case of significant migration that threatens the Schengen area, the Commission will establish the urgent collective. Coastguards will be part of the national coast guard and border European insofar as border control operations take place. Finally, the responsibility with respect to the internal security is fundamental, in terms of control of cross-border crime and terrorism, in terms of combating cross-border crime and terrorism along with other EU agencies and international organizations.