- Created: Wednesday, 30 September 2009 15:51
- Written by Nicki Jameson
The strengthening of border controls around ‘Fortress Europe’ continues, as European Union (EU) countries discuss joint measures to repel immigration from outside the Fortress. Although Denmark, which will take over EU presidency from Spain later this year, has the strictest immigration policies of any individual European country, it is undoubtedly Britain which is leading the pack of wolves baying for yet more vicious controls to be implemented throughout the EU.
At the Seville summit this June, EU leaders failed to wholeheartedly embrace British and Spanish plans to deprive poor countries of economic aid, unless they signed up to draconian measures to prevent migration. However, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced that the EU would nonetheless be adopting a different version of the policy, focussing on the carrot, rather than the stick. While Tony Blair had hoped the EU would agree to actively withhold aid from uncooperative countries, Straw announced that bribery will be used instead, with additional aid being provided to countries that are prepared to provide the required amount of self-policing. To complicate matters further, several of the targeted countries, including Turkey and Poland, are themselves currently attempting to join the EU.
The Seville summit agreed to create a network of immigration liaison officers and speed up negotiations on readmission of refugees who have been refused in one member state and who then attempt to enter another. It also agreed to tighten the terms of the 1990 Dublin Convention, which deals with asylum applications to EU member states, in order to render it legally binding that the state where an asylum seeker first sets foot on EU soil is responsible for handling all that person’s asylum applications.