The Greek government disagrees with two crucial “points” of the European Commission’s plan for a new border force to be discussed at the two day summit starting on Thursday (17 December), but opposing a veto has been ruled out. EURACTIV Greece reports.
The European Commission unveiled plans on Tuesday (15 December) for a new border and coastguard force that can intervene even without the host country’s consent, saying it had to restore security threatened by the migration crisis.
The new agency will have a quick reaction force of 1,500 guards and a “right to intervene” in European Union states that are either overwhelmed, or are deemed to be failing to secure their frontiers.
The two “points”
The Syriza-led government is generally positive towards the European Commission’s proposal, but it has raised “two points”, a high-ranking government source told EURACTIV Greece.
Press reports in Athens suggested today that the Greek government was examining a veto scenario, in the event its demands were rejected, but the source said that this was not the case.
“We have two points and not objections [as Greek media reported],” the source said, underlining that in principle, the Commission’s plan is heading in the right direction and helps Greece with “tough” management of its maritime borders.
The government source said that one point is the right of the new border and coastguard force to intervene without the host country’s consent.
“The consent of the member states is needed,” the source noted, adding that Athens is not alone on the issue, as Spain, Hungary, Poland “and many other countries which do not make it public” also disagree.
At the same time, he stressed that in regards to third countries outside the EU, Athens’ request is the final text to make reference to “joint cooperation” rather than “joint ventures”.
“All these are consultations, but Athens has not considered the possibility of a veto,” he concluded.