European Parliament EU must fund border fences

European Parliament: EU must fund border fences

The debate over protecting the EU’s external border threatens to overshadow negotiations on the migration pact.

The dispute over EU funding for border fences is entering the next round – and should provide enough material for heated debate, even within Europe’s main party families: A vote – forced by the Christian Democratic Party EPP – on the use of EU funds for physical “barriers” At the EU’s external borders, there was a surprising majority in the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday night – with votes from some Social Democrats and Liberal MPs who opposed the party’s official line.

A success for the EPP, whose chief Manfred Weber (CSU) has been promoting the construction of fences with EU funds for months. So far, the Commission has ruled this out – and has been criticized for doing so by several Member States – including Austria. The position of the authorities in Brussels is “hypocritical”, after all Brussels also finances technical equipment and staff to prevent the entry of illegal migrants into the EU, the argument continues.

The vote gives momentum to supporters of EU-funded border fences in the Council. With a blemish: Parliament’s budget report for next year, to which the EPP amendment was attached, ended up being rejected with votes from the Social Democrats and the Greens.