Voting on the opinion of the European Committee of the Regions on the European Commissionʼs proposal for an EU Border and Coast-Guard with up to 10,000 operational border guards, the PES Group has managed to turn around a very negative perspective by the Hungarian EPP rapporteur on the issue, Anna Magyar.
The draft opinion had tried to submit the activity of the agency to a national veto – an approach which would have been in direct contradiction with the aim of building a common European system of border protection based on shared responsibility.
Newly elected PES Coordinator for the CIVEX Commission, Franco Iacop, Member of the Friuli Venzia-Giulia Regional Assembly (Italy), said: “We have managed to ensure that the new European Border and Coast Guard can become an effective element of a comprehensive European migration policy which is not just focused exclusively on closing borders and returning migrants. By building consensus beyond our own political family, with our amendments we could adopt an opinion which does not make the EU border and coast guards mere supplementary force to national border police.ˮ
PES member Enzo Bianco, member of Catania city council (Italy), who has worked on the idea for such a European Border guard since his time as Italian Minister of the Interior in the early 2000s, stressed: “I am delighted that the European Committee of the Regions supports this important step towards a European migration policy based on less fear, less closure and more courage.ˮ
Oggi a @EU_CoR votiamo la proposta sulla guardia costiera e di frontiera europea.@enzobianco_ è stato il ministro che ha per primo proposto questa idea nel 2001. Criticando la mancanza di coraggio di @EPP_CoR, ricorda perché serve creare una polizia davvero europea! #CoRPlenary pic.twitter.com/oaHH1fVIfz
— PES European Committee of the Regions (@PES_CoR) February 6, 2019
Photo credit: © Flickr / Frank