The controversial response to the immigration crisis is to be launched on Tuesday by the European commission, which is calling for a 2,000-strong European border and coastguard force that could be deployed in an emergency without the approval of the country concerned.
The plan will prove highly divisive among national governments, most of which jealously guard their sovereign powers over border control. But the proposal is backed by #Germany and France, giving it a head start in what is likely to be two years of tough bargaining before it could become a reality.
In theory, the new regime and the powers ceded to Brussels over its operation apply to all 26 countries in Europe’s free-travel Schengen area, which does not include the UK and Ireland but takes in non-EU countries such as Norway and Switzerland.
In practice, the regime would apply to the external borders of the Schengen area, so would not greatly affect countries such as Germany that are surrounded by other Schengen nations. With more than 1 million asylum seekers arriving in Europe this year and a further 1.5 million predicted for next year, the commission’s proposals are directed mainly at #Greece and Italy, the main entry points from Turkey across the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.
Brussels is to unveil radical plans to strip national governments of authority over their borders in an emergency and to create a border guards force to police the EU’s frontiers, supervise asylum claims, and detain and deport failed asylum seekers.