OPU strongly against further militarization of borders

At a special summit of the European Council on 10 February, ending at 3 a.m., EU member states agreed that the Union should fund all possible measures to help Member States at external borders to ensure immediate control of the EU’s external borders. The money should thus go towards expensive technological systems, including drones or new observation structures at the borders. The main supporter of the harshest possible measures was Austria facing a record high number of new arrivals. In 2022, the EU border agency Frontex detected 330,000 people who tried to enter the EU irregularly, the most since 2016.

The Director of the Organization for Aid to Refugees, Martin Rozumek, states – “Unfortunately, the EU is moving towards an ever-increasing militarization of borders instead of a systemic change that will allow people at risk to apply for asylum in a dignified manner. The debate on joint financing of a fence along the entire length of the Bulgarian-Turkish border is literally tragicomic, it will only burden refugees, Greece or even Albania more. Friday’s long summit definitely did not give an answer to the question of how to accept the roughly half of refugees in Greece who are entitled to asylum according to international, European and Czech law.”