A European Commission spokesperson will not finance the construction of border walls to keep people out, including the wall being built between Bulgaria and Turkey.
The European Commission will not fund the construction of a wall between Bulgaria and Turkey. "The Commission will not finance walls," spokesperson Eric Mamer said last week during a daily press briefing.
"It is up to the member States to determine what are the best ways to fulfil their border protection obligations. The EU is there to support them in this framework. The Commission finances measures and actions that contribute to the protection of its borders, including mobile and permanent infrastructures, ... but it ... will not finance the construction of walls," stressed the spokesperson.
'Wall is permanent infrastructure that keeps people out'
Mamer explained that with wall, "we are referring to a permanent infrastructure which keeps people out, made of bricks or any other material." He added that "talking about fences is a different thing. However, beyond words, we are talking about the fact that we would not finance an infrastructure that we consider a wall, or something that keeps people out," he added.
The spokesman highlighted that, "in any case, member States are obligated to guarantee that people seeking a safe shelter in Europe can register an asylum request, so these are not black and white matters," he continued.
'Migration must be managed together'
Asked by a journalist about Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni’s trip to Libya and Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani’s visit to Turkey, Mamer replied: "The dossier on migration cannot be managed on one side by member States and on the other by the European Commission, but must be managed together, and we are happy that the Council has taken up the dossier and will discuss how to bring it on a common path: there is always coordination between member States and the Commission on key dossiers."