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Frontex border limits. Photo supplied

Frontex to boost number of EU border agents

The European Union has announced an increase in the number of Frontex border agents ahead of the European elections in May. The EU border agency will employ around 10 000 agents by the year 2027, up from 1 500 currently. 

Published: April 25, 2019, 9:25 am

    Brussels

    The new policy was adopted by MEPs, Breitbart reported. The European Parliament on Wednesday approved an agreement to beef up staff to 5 000 officers before increasing their numbers to 10 000.

    The new plan of the EU to expand Frontex will also mean a huge budget increase for the border agency, allowing it to deploy agents beyond the European Union as well as to invest in its own patrol navy and air force.

    But not all countries within the bloc are pleased with the move, RTS reported. Greece and Italy both said that the move was an attempt by the EU to interfere in their domestic affairs, while Austria and Hungary voiced similar concerns.

    Austrian Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, accused Frontex of being “anything but a border guard” and labelled it a “people trafficking organisation” in May of last year.

    Hungarian State Secretary for International Communications and Relations, Zoltan Kovacs also warned in March that the expansion of Frontex would undermine Hungarian national sovereignty.

    “It’s never ‘strengthening’ or ‘defending’ borders. It’s always about ‘managing’ them and that’s a euphemism for immigration,” Kovacs explained.

    The EU’s move to bolster the staff of border agency Frontex will not be enough to protect the bloc’s borders from a massive inflow of migrants, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s chief security advisor said on Thursday.

    Speaking to public current affairs channel M1, György Bakondi welcomed that the provision opposed by the Hungarian government, under which Frontex could intervene in a member state’s border protection efforts without the country’s consent, had been left out of the agreement. “This would’ve been a serious sovereignty issue,” he said.

    The Hungarian government had said earlier that through Frontex, the EU intends to limit the scope of national border agencies in countries that oppose immigration. Hungary has warned that German Chancellor Merkel wants to turn Europe into “a continent of immigrants”.

    Bakondi told Hungarian news agency MTI that the decision to enhance the border agency’s role was a part of the EP election campaign, arguing that it would only be implemented in the next parliamentary cycle.

    “The EP has done everything it could in recent months to create a legal environment that favours the pro-migration forces,” he said.

    If the composition of the EP changes after the election and if the EU’s top institutions will be headed by anti-migration politicians, it will be possible to enact decisions that are in line with the security needs of the European people, Bakondi said.

    The European Parliament’s fresh approval of a plan to increase funding for “Soros groups” will “enable those organisations to bring more migrants to Europe”, the parliamentary spokesman of ruling Fidesz warned on Wednesday.

    Janos Halasz reacted to the EP’s approval of a programme under which the European Union could directly support NGOs dedicated to migration.

    Under the programme, Halasz said, the EU would triple funding in the 2021-2027 financial period for “Soros organisations” to 1,8 billion euros. These NGOs could then spend these funds on “spreading their ideas and guidelines, drafting proposals and giving advice”, he added.

    The settlement of migrants has become “some kind of a constitutional duty” for these NGOs. Countries that do not want to take in migrants are “openly threatened”, he said, adding that “everything is still proceeding according to the Soros plan”.

    If the “pro-migration majority” stays in power or becomes stronger after next month’s European Parliament elections, “these plans will all be set in motion” and Europe will permanently become “a continent of immigrants”, Halasz warned.

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