The migrant crisis has broken the EU, and desperate countries are turning to DEFY von der Leyen.
THE EU is becoming increasingly polarized over migration policies, with central and eastern member states demanding that Brussels fund border walls and fences.
The tense situation on the EU-Belarus border is driving more EU politicians to support border barriers and fences, saying that financing for their construction should be approved by the EU Commission. In the midst of the bloc’s crippling migrant crisis in 2015, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was the first to propose such a radical physical solution.
Mr. Orban was on his own at the time, and his search was quickly disregarded by then-European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Mr Juncker rebuffed Greece’s proposal for a wall on its border with Turkey five years ago, saying, “No fence or wall is high enough to keep these individuals from coming to Europe.”
Ursula von der Leyen, Juncker’s spokeswoman, reaffirmed Juncker’s view last month after Lithuania asked the EU to fund a wall along its border with Belarus.
“There will be no funding for barbed wire and fences,” she declared.
However, EPP President Manfred Weber, the leader of the European Parliament’s largest group, went against the Commission chief and backed Lithuania’s demands.
“We, as the EPP, are also requesting that in an extreme case, EU money be available to cover these types of operations,” he stated.
The Socialists and Democrats, the Parliament’s second-largest party, are, on the other hand, adamantly opposed to the proposal.
In a letter sent to the Commission in October, 12 EU countries led by Lithuania requested it to fund barriers “as a matter of priority.”
Macron is enraged with the UK over fishing licenses, and the French are turning against him.
Poland, which is now dealing with the highest migrant arrivals on its border with Belarus, found unusual allies in its demands, including communist Denmark.
Greece also signed the letter, despite Hungary’s opposition to a mandated redistribution of asylum seekers across the EU.
France, on the other hand, opposes the idea of the EU funding member states’ border policies.
“I am in favor of a Europe that guards its borders, but not a Europe that erects barbed wire or walls,” French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune stated last week.
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