Source: Schengen Visa Info
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has demanded that the EU external border should be fenced by a high wall in an effort to curb illegal migration as more refugees are coming to Europe.
“Very high, very deep in the ground, constantly monitored. More and more refugees are coming to Europe, and many communities no longer have free places!” he said.
According to the German publication Bild, Chancellor Nehammer calls for the construction of a border fence similar to the one built on the US-Mexico border, built by former US President Donald Trump, which is almost ten meters high and 3,200 kilometers long, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The Chancellor said that the border fence should be high and go very deep into the ground as well as be constantly monitored, from both technical and personnel points of view, noting this is the only way how illegal migrants can be prevented from entering the EU.
He told Bild that the situation at the EU’s external borders is serious, with large numbers of migrants waiting on the routes. According to Nehammer, there are nearly three million Afghans that are headed to Europe, and many other people that could come to the zone following the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, as well as one million refugees from Syria fleeing their home country in search of a better life.
This is one of many calls for better protection of the EU’s external borders made for several weeks now. During the most recent EU summit, it was agreed to improve Bulgaria’s border fence and use more surveillance by launching drones – introducing a new model for reducing illegal migration.
Austria’s Minister for European Affairs, Karoline Edtstandler, just like the Chancellor, says that Austria will support Romania and Bulgaria joining the Schengen zone only after the migration policy of the European Union has been modified.
“We want to continue discussing the Schengen expansion, in coordination with partners in Bulgaria and Romania, so that we can put it back on the agenda after the necessary steps are taken regarding migration and asylum policy,” Edtstadler told Austrian radio ORF.
These statements followed the act of Croatia becoming a Schengen zone member, which became effective on January 1, 2023, while Romania and Bulgaria were prevented from membership due to Austria’s objection.
The latest publication by the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, has revealed that the number of illegal border crossings recorded at the EU’s external borders reached 11,951 in the first two months of 2022, with the Central Mediterranean route experiencing a significant increase. More specifically, the number of detections on this route was up by 119 percent, also representing two of every five irregular border crossings recorded at this time.