Magazine article Europe-East

IMMIGRATION : EP COMMITTEEaADVOCATES RAPID REACTION TEAMS

Magazine article Europe-East

IMMIGRATION : EP COMMITTEEaADVOCATES RAPID REACTION TEAMS

Article excerpt

Expert rapid reaction teams should be formed to provide technical and operational help at times of big influxes of illegal migrants over the external borders of any EU member state, according to a report approved by the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament on 11 April (co-decision, first reading, plenary vote in April). This report by Gerard Deprez (ALDE, Belgium) is the fruit of an agreement with the Council on a proposed regulation.

Given the difficulties that some southern member states face in coping with massive arrivals of illegal immigrants by sea, in 2005 the Council asked the European Commission to table a proposal to create Rapid Border Intervention Teams'. It stipulated that these teams should pool member states' financial means and human resources to act in emergencies at EU frontiers, but always under the coordination of the EU frontier management agency Frontex. A draft regulation would lay down common rules for the tasks that can be carried out by the guest' border officers of other member states within Frontex joint operations. In negotiations, questions immediately arose over the funding of the teams and the need for all member states to contribute financial and human means.

The principle of mandatory solidarity', under which all member states must deploy specially trained border guards upon Frontex's request, was enshrined in the agreement reached with the Council by Gerard Deprez. Rapid intervention teams will be mobilised "for a limited period' and only if the country faces an 'urgent and exceptional pressure". …

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