EU countries have agreed to step up border surveillance to combat unwanted migration between France and the United Kingdom. The reason for the emergency consultation is the boat accident this week, which killed 27 migrants.
From 1 December, the European border surveillance service Frontex is deploying an aircraft to check the coastal areas of France, Belgium and the Netherlands for people smugglers. The Channel Tunnel and ferries have been monitored much more closely in recent years, so migrants are more likely to choose the dangerous route by sea with rubber boats.
The countries also want to exchange information better and carry out joint border controls. And it must be harder to get inflatable boats. Previously, a sports shop in Calais decided to take canoes, boats and kayaking off the shelves because they “could jeopardize the lives of users”.
The emergency consultation at Calais City Hall was attended by representatives from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the European Commission, Frontex and Europol. The United Kingdom was absent.
Since the boating accident, France and the UK have been blaming each other too little to prevent migration. A critical letter from Prime Minister Johnson to President Macron fell wrong with the French, who withdrew the invitation to the British to participate in the consultation.
Ministers from the other countries have called for cooperation with the United Kingdom. “The consultation was not anti-English, it was pro-European,” the French minister and host Gérald Darmanin defended himself. “We do want to work with our British allies.”