EU drops plan for 10.000 border guards by 2020

7 December 2018
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The European Union’s flagship plan for a 10,000-strong bloc-wide border and coastguard force in two years exceeds “what is feasible,” the EU’s Austrian presidency has said.

Some EU member states have expressed fears the plan would erode their sovereign right to control national borders while others had concerns about funding a force that the European Commission unveiled in September.

“The Commission’s target with these fixed figures (of 10,000) by 2020 actually goes beyond the scope of what is feasible,” Austria’s interior minister Herbert Kickl told reporters late Thursday.

“That is why we are now exploring corresponding compromises,” Kickl said without elaborating.

“We have nothing to gain from writing 10,000 on paper and then they do not really exist, and that is why the timetable is being extended,” Kickl added.

He spoke instead of a “gradual buildup” during the next seven-year EU budget from 2021-2027, which is now under negotiation.

Austria, which currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU, was hosting a meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels to discuss ongoing plans to curb migration.

Germany’s interior minister Horst Seehofer said: “We will have to discuss how many posts are realistic by 2020. We should not make any utopian promises here.”

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