EU Close to Creating Border & Coast Guard

     (CN) — The European Parliament on Wednesday tentatively approved plans to establish an EU border and coast guard to help stem both the ongoing refugee crisis and the continued threat of terrorist attacks.
     European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker first floated the idea of an EU border and coast guard in September 2015. The commission presented a legislative proposal to create the agency in December 2015, with the aim of managing migration, improving internal security and safeguarding the free movement of EU citizens, a guarantee in the EU constitution.
     In a joint statement, commission vice president Frans Timmermans and home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stressed that the sovereignty of member states will not be compromised by an EU-wide border and coast guard.
     “The external border of one member state is the external border of all member states,” the commissioners said. “Whilst member states will keep their sovereignty and national border guards will remain the key actors for managing their borders, the European Border and Coast Guard will work as a safety net in exceptional situations when a member state is unable to cope with the situation on its own.”
     Following the parliament’s final approval of “technical modifications resulting from a legal-linguistic revision,” the bill next heads to the EU Council, which has already given its approval in principle.

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