European coast guard must help limit flow of asylum seekers

15 December 2015
European coast guard must help limit flow of asylum seekers

The European Commission wants to establish a European coast guard. "A step in the right direction," say European Parliament Members Helga Stevens and Sander Loones. "Such a coast guard can strengthen our European borders, since the reality of the refugee crisis teaches us how vital this is."

The European border and coast guard will be established in answer to deficient Greek border controls, through which an estimated 1.5 million asylum seekers have already reached the EU illegally this year. "If member states do not take their responsibilities, Europe must take action," Loones states. "If the Southern member states leave their doors open, every asylum seeker will stroll through to Western Europe. Therefore, the establishment of a European coast guard is a logical next step.

Reinforcing own borders

But the N-VA asks the EU to be more ambitious. Europe shouldn't outsource its border policy to Turkey, but should reinforce its own borders in the first place. Not only with a European coast guard, but also with push-backs, and with an (international) quota, coupled to a European maximum number as well as an investment in good quality shelter in the region. "Otherwise we will never be able to dissuade families from risking their lives taking the crossing in flimsy boats," Helga Stevens concludes.

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