EU 'big five' plan border intervention force

13th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 12 (AFP) - Interior ministers from the five most populous European Union nations said Thursday they would consider creating a European police force to guard the EU's external borders.

PARIS, May 12 (AFP) - Interior ministers from the five most populous European Union nations said Thursday they would consider creating a European police force to guard the EU's external borders.  

The ministers were attending a special meeting in Paris called by French Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin.  

"We want to think about" the creation of such a force, Villepin said, because we need "a rapid force in the event of a crisis."  

He said it could be the precursor "of what could become a European border police."  

The five countries present - Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - said they wanted the European agency created on May 1 and charged with managing external borders to be "an operational tool."  

As far as internal borders were concerned the five states wanted future rules to keep the provision under which those members belonging to the Schengen agreement allowing for free movement across borders can re-establish border controls "if public order requirements demand it."  

Villepin said there was some "frank talking" about Spain's decision to regularise the position of about 700,000 illegal immigrants.  

France announced this week tough measures to crack down on the estimated 200,000 to 400,000 illegal immigrants living there.  

Spanish Interior Minister Jose-Antonio Alonso Suarez said the 700,000 newly-regularised immigrants in Spain posed no threat to its EU partners because they were working in Spain and would stay there.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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