Frontex Chief: EU Should Prepare for More Migrant Crisis

Fabrice Leggeri, the head of Frontex, which is the EU’s agency for border control, has warned the 27-nation-bloc to prepare for more migration crisis like the one in Belarus-Poland border, as this isn’t the first time such a crisis have occurred and with the current safety situation in several nations, the migration crisis are anticipated to happen.

“It should open the eyes of people who have not understood that migration flows can be manipulated for political ends against the European Union to obtain something. We have to prepare ourselves for situations like this which can arise quite quickly,” Leggeri told AFP in an interview, also adding that this isn’t the first time the EU has faced such a situation.

He referred to this situation as similar to the one witnessed in February 2020, when Greek border forces tried to block thousands of migrants from Turkey from entering its territory, reports.

Currently, in a bid to halt the refugees’ flux, the Polish government is planning to build a wall on its border with Belarus, as the latter is fueling the refugees by escorting them to the Polish Border. Among 12 governments that support the decision to build the barrier is Hungary, which is proactively against migration. However, France, which will hold the rotating presidency for the first half of 2022, does not support Poland’s decision.

Leggeri, on the other hand, supports the decision and has previously stated this barrier will reduce the number of illegal passengers at the border.

 “At least when there is a barrier, we are not accused of pushbacks because we know where the border is and people physically cannot create a situation that is legally ambiguous for us. A very annoying part of the job for border guards is when there are legal ambiguities,” Leggeri said.

At present, there are several walls built to hold the refugee flux in the following spots:

  • Several maritime walls from Italy with African countries, Greece and Albania
  • Wall barricade at Greece-North Macedonia border
  • Wall barricade at Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey
  • Wall barricade at Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the UK, and Norway

Since 2004 when it was created, Frontex has been the first EU agency to create a standing, uniformed force, which aims to have 10,000 border guards in the next five years, up from the current 2,200 officers.

Greece previously reaffirmed its position not to prohibit the secondary movement for migrants and refugees, allowing them to travel across the European Union Member States. This means that migrants will be permitted to travel to another EU country; for example, migrants that reach Belarus, with secondary movement, will be able to reach Poland instead of being deported.

Regarding the matter, the Migration Minister of Greece, Notis Matararachi, in August this year when Taliban forces captured Afghanistan, and a refugee’s flux was evident, said that such migration will not be allowed and that the country is on high alert at both, sea and land borders.

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