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April 28, 2023

Fences Do Not Work Against Illegal Migration, Luxembourg PM Says

The Luxembourgian Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, has objected the construction of fences on the borders of the European Union, saying such barriers are costly as well as questionable from a political point of view and not effective in addressing illegal migration at EU borders.

According to Swissinfo.ch, PM Bettel pointed out that the need to improve entries into the Schengen zone doesn’t indicate that Europeans do not have a legal obligation and a moral duty to offer international protection to those seeking it, or grant them a realistic chance of obtaining such protection, indicating that EU Member States should ensure migrants are able to apply for asylum in respective countries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“As I already told my colleagues at the European Council in February, border fences are not only costly and politically questionable, they are also not effective in stopping irregular migration. We need to improve surveillance of our borders external organisations and work with international partners,” Bettel noted.

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister said that according to international humanitarian law, respect for fundamental rights should be the guiding principle for a common immigration policy, which reinforces the credibility towards neighbour and third countries.

He also pushes for the EU must work with international partners “on issues such as returns, the management of migration flows or the root causes of irregular migration” in addition to creating alternatives for legal migration.

At its international levels, he added, European migration policy must be resilient, fair, based on rules, and characterised by an adequate balance between responsibility and solidarity.

Prime Minister asked the negotiators not to give up and to try and close an agreement before this legislature came to an end, leaving the negotiators another year to reach an agreement.

Recently, Poland announced that it would be building an electronic barrier with the Russian province of Kaliningrad, citing illegal border crossings as the main reason for the construction. Prior to this barrier, Poland put up a wall with Belarus under suspicions of increased irregular border crossings on the route.

“We will have full monitoring of the border with Russia. I am sure that this will be the best secured EU border,” the Polish Interior Minister Kaminski told a news conference reported by AP.

The EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, has noted that the number of illegal border crossings recorded during the first two months of 2023 has reached 54,000, recording a 26 per cent increase from the corresponding period of 2022. Routes with the most increased illegal activities, as Frontex points out, are the Central Mediterranean route (27,651) and Western Balkan (14,858).