An Italian Coast Guard unit near the island of Ischia. Credit: ANSA/COAST GUARD
An Italian Coast Guard unit near the island of Ischia. Credit: ANSA/COAST GUARD

European regions have expressed a non-binding opinion supporting the proposal by the European Commission to create a European border coast guard.

European regions support the European Commission proposal to create a European border coast guard, but how to manage it set off a difficult battle between populists and socialists during the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR).

The Party of European Socialists (PES), led by Umbria Governor Catiuscia Marini, declared "victory" after a series of amendments were approved that "profoundly changed" the text by Hungarian PPE rapporteur Anna Magyar, who belongs to Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party.

'Very important opinion'

Franco Iacop, a regional councilor in Friuli Venezia Giulia, called the non-binding opinion "very important for us."

"The financial impact and the proposal of 10,000 agents operative by 2020 is crucial for local and regional entities, in view of a consistent and comprehensive European policy on migration," he said. "The opinion was at risk of reducing the operating capacity of the new agency by putting it under the sole control of and in compliance with national regulations, and it was focused only on the closure of borders."

The head of the Italian delegation, Enzo Bianco, said he has personally worked on this project for many years. "A Europe that creates a unified body is a stronger Europe, able to better face even the large problems of mass migration," he said. "More courage, more Europe; less fear, less closures," he said.


 

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