Roberta Metsola to lead new EU borders law

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola says priority is to have an EU border force of 10,000 to respond quickly to migration pressures

PN MEP Roberta Metsola will lead the European Parliament's efforts to draw up new EU border legislation
PN MEP Roberta Metsola will lead the European Parliament's efforts to draw up new EU border legislation

Roberta Metsola has been tasked by the European Parliament with leading negotiations on a new law to manage the EU’s external borders.

The Nationalist MEP will be the EP’s rapporteur on a sensitive subject that has come to the fore over recent years as Europe grappled with a migration crisis.

One of the priorities listed by Metsola is the creation of an EU force of 10,000 border and coast guards by 2020.

The PN MEP would also like to see the creation of “antenna offices” of the European Border and Coast Guard agency around the EU. This would mean a physical presence in places other than Warsaw, the current headquarters of the agency.

Metsola said this would mean that for the first time the EU would be fully able to respond quickly to a new migration crises on its borders.

She said the EU would have to be in a position not only to respond to migration pressures but to prevent them by reaching out to third countries, a prospect that could see EU border agents being sent overseas.

“We have the equipment and the funds to help nations return those people who are not eligible for protection. We want to be able to send our asylum experts and our planes to North Africa and other third countries if they request the EU’s assistance in returning irregular migrants - so far the EU has been legally unable to do so,” Metsola added.

She said the overarching priority was to save people’s lives at sea, safeguard the integrity of the EU’s external borders, the safety of EU citizens and the protection of everyone’s fundamental rights.

In her initial reaction, Metsola said her appointment was “a mammoth responsibility and an honour”.

Metsola is the European People’s Party (EPP) Group coordinator on migration and border issues.

She will be meeting stakeholders in Malta and across the EU to get their input into the new law.

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