The European Commission has drawn up proposals to create a border and coastguard agency in a bid to curb the influx of refugees through the 28-nation bloc’s external borders.
Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner in charge of migration policy, said the refugee crisis gripping Europe highlights the need for a “pan-European solution.”
The proposed border and coastguard agency, consisting of around 1,000 guards, would be authorized to intervene whenever national authorities failed to fulfill their responsibilities concerning their border security.
“National authorities manage to do their best but they were not prepared (for the recent refugee crisis),” he said, adding, “We need something more comprehensive and better structured.”
He made the remarks in an address to the Mediterranean Dialogues, a conference on security in the Mediterranean region, in Rome on Friday.
Avramopoulos said the proposed border force would cooperate closely with planned European reception centers in Greece and Italy to ensure more comprehensive registration and processing of new arrivals in European continent.
Under the regulations to be enforced by the agency, he said, “nobody would ever come into EU territory without accepting to respect the rules of our union.”
The measures, which are expected to be announced on Tuesday, will require approval by national governments and the European Parliament.
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the commission is confident that an upcoming summit of EU leaders in Brussels will encourage a swift progress on the preparation of the border and coastguard agency.
However, an unidentified Polish source told AFP that Warsaw “is pretty much objecting to the very idea of such a border guard,” adding, “The proposal seems to be an excessive intervention in the internal competences of a state.”
According to recent figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 924, 140 refugees have reached Europe’s shores so far this year while more than 3,670 people have either died or gone missing in their perilous journey to the continent.
European countries reportedly remain divided over how to deal with the refugees, most of whom are fleeing conflict-hit zones in the Middle East and Africa.
While a few European leaders support an open-door refugee policy, others prefer controlling the external borders of the EU, deporting more people and paying third countries to keep asylum seekers on their soil.