Pevkur: Estonia interested in additional resources of EU-wide border guard, which would be temporary

Hanno Pevkur (Siim Lõvi /ERR)
12/15/2015 11:19 AM
Category: Politics

The EU is planning a 1000-strong joint border guard force to help manage the mass influx of asylum seekers.

Estonian Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said EU interior ministers agreed on December 4 to pursue the topic.

He said the plan is in Estonia's interests as Estonia also needs to protect the outer border of the EU and the Schengen area.

Estonia would definitely welcome the additional resources it would bring, Pevkur added.

“If we look at the situation in Greece and Italy, it is clear international border guard forces are already in crisis hit states. The notion of what the united border guard will look like is a topic for discussion and of course Estonia has a clear position here. We are all interested in strengthening the Estonian border defense,” he said, adding that idea is not of a permanent force, but one which would be deployed in case of emergencies.

Some nations could oppose the idea as it would allow EU to station border guards in a EU member state without the consent of that state. Pevkur said he will not predict when such a force will see the light of day.

The Commission began an investigation into Croatia, Greece and Italy for not registering all the estimated 1.5 million migrants who have arrived in Europe. Of the 65,000 migrants who have arrived in Italy since July, only 29,000 have been registered. Greece managed to register only 121,000 asylum seekers of 492,000, and Croatia only 575 people from a total of 340,000.

J.M. Laats

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