EU's Backing Leads to Positive Outcomes in Border Security for Bulgaria and Romania

EU |Author: Diana Kavardzhikova | April 9, 2024, Tuesday // 12:19|  views

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In a recent announcement by the European Commission, significant progress has been reported in the joint efforts to safeguard the external borders of Bulgaria and Romania. The EU's support has yielded promising outcomes, particularly in the areas of migrant returns, asylum procedures, and countering smuggling activities.

Olivier Onidi,  Deputy Director General of the Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs at the European Commission, highlighted the constructive impact of EU funding and enhanced cooperation on bolstering border security measures. Notably, increased collaboration has led to a heightened presence of Frontex, the European border service, reinforcing border control efforts.

Anton Zlatanov, the Director of Bulgaria's "Border Police," emphasized the challenges faced along the Bulgaria-Turkey border, where significant resources are dedicated to ensuring protection. Tragically, the line of duty claimed the lives of six Bulgarian policemen in 2022 and 2023. However, Zlatanov expressed gratitude for European support, citing improvements in asylum application procedures and effective measures against migrant smuggling.

Acknowledging the importance of cooperation with Turkey, Zlatanov underscored the positive outcomes of strengthened collaboration, contributing to a calmer situation at the EU's external border. He affirmed Bulgaria's readiness to collaborate with the EC on implementing new European migration legislation and reiterated a commitment to upholding fundamental rights.

Mihai Necula, the State Secretary of Romania, revealed that Romanian border authorities have initiated collaborative patrols alongside their Serbian counterparts. This joint effort has resulted in a sustained decrease in the incidence of unauthorized migrant crossings originating from the Serbian border.

Nina Gregory, Executive Director of the EU's Agency for Asylum, emphasized the support extended to Bulgaria, including the provision of translators for migrant centers and efforts to digitize activities of the Bulgarian Refugee Agency.

However, Desislava Todorova from the non-governmental border violence monitoring network raised concerns regarding the lack of transparency and dialogue in the implementation of the European border protection project. Todorova urged action against migrant pushback incidents, stressing the need for humane treatment.

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Tags: European, Bulgaria, border, EU


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