VIDEOS – Minister of Internal Affairs, Bernard Cazeneuve, and his British counterpart Theresa May on Thursday signed a new agreement which provides in particular for the establishment of a joint Franco center -British command and control.
France and Britain announced Thursday new measures to prevent undocumented migrants enter on the site of the Channel Tunnel and to emphasize the fight against smuggling networks. “Taken together, these provisions will benefit from financial support from the British government to the tune of € 5 million per year for two years,” the signed text.
The French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, and the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, arrived in the morning on site. After a round table on the Franco-British cooperation in the fight against illegal immigration, they met with officials of Jules Ferry Ticket Center.
Above all, they signed a Franco-British agreement which provides for the establishment of a joint center of command and control in Coquelles. This “find and dismantle the organized criminals who attempt to smuggle migrants to northern France and across the Channel,” had said the British Ministry of Interior in a statement.
Fight against criminal networks
“We are here to tell the excellent cooperation between our two countries, and the relationship of trust between us,” said Bernard Cazeneuve on his arrival, adding: “We must send a strong signal here in Calais: you can not pass the border that are managed in common.” His British counterpart praised the work already done: “The French and British governments have worked for months to address the issue of migrants in Calais and Coquelles. We have already taken some steps that have begun to improve the situation, but the work must continue. “
Bernard Cazeneuve also announced that Manuel Valls and two EU commissioners come to him in Calais 31 August next. The French minister was then to proceed to Berlin for a meeting in the evening with his German counterpart Thomas de Maizière on the issue of migration policy in Europe.
The plan signed Thursday also includes an increase in staff of French police deployed around the French entrance to the Channel Tunnel and installation of British financing, fences, security cameras and other security equipment around the site. Eurotunnel, the operator of the underground structure, will receive “additional resources” to secure the tunnel entrance, and set up freight 24H search teams / 24.
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On the humanitarian level, the agreement provides for “intensify observation” of migrants to “identify the most vulnerable and potential victims of trafficking” including women and children, in the idea of informing them and place them in a safe place, “which means housing capacity and support for preventing such can access these vulnerable populations anyone looking to exploit. ” The idea is also to promote voluntary return to countries of origin, with the establishment of information campaigns and assisted return programs.
Finally, both internationally countries wish to intensify dialogue with the countries of origin. They agreed to organize “a follow-up conference in Paris, with other EU Member States, if possible by the end of the year”, and to provide support to Greece and the Italy on “hotspots” or sorting centers between irregular economic migrants and refugees.
A major migration crisis
Hundreds of migrants constantly flocking to Calais in the hope of finding a passage to England on board the ferry from the port or on shuttle trains who use the tunnel. The port of Calais has become almost inaccessible with the installation of barbed wire, four-meter high gates and CCTV cameras, resulting in an increase in attempts by crossing the tunnel since the beginning of the summer. Eurotunnel counted up to 1,700 intrusion attempts per night early August, before a decline to 100 or 200 on average in recent days. The safety device has already been reinforced to try to prevent these intrusions that have claimed the lives of ten migrants in weeks. “1300 French policemen were mobilized, 500 more delegates were” late July “to ensure border security, “said Minister for the Interior.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some 3,000 refugees and migrants currently living “in deplorable conditions” in Calais and the Pas-de-Calais. On Wednesday, the union executives of Homeland Security (SCSI – CFDT), a majority among police officers, denounced an “explosive situation” on the site. The Republicans and the mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, asked London and Paris € 50 million “financial compensation” for the “damage” caused by the influx of migrants.