France, UK Sign Declaration to Increase Security in Port of Calais
France and the United Kingdom last week signed a declaration to increase security and counter refugee smugglers to ease the refugee crisis in the French port of Calais.
The agreement provides that UK police and border guards will work with French officers at a new control center in Calais to counter smugglers transporting undocumented immigrants to the United Kingdom.
“We have decided to further strengthen our cooperation in security and fight against criminal networks,” said as well as to expand [the cooperation] to new areas concerning certain humanitarian aspects of receiving migrants,” said French Foreign Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
There have been thousands of attempts in recent weeks by refugees to cross the 31-mile Channel Tunnel from Calais, to Folkestone, Kent, in the United Kingdom.
The situation in Calais is emblematic of the problems associated with the massive influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Middle East and North Africa to the EU.
“We welcome today’s declaration of the British and French authorities to intensify their cooperation in relation to the migration situation in Calais, “said European Commission first vice president Frans Timmermans. “The commission supports the strengthening of cooperation between member states and will continue to play its role in supporting the member states when exercising their responsibilities in the area of freedom, security and justice. The measures announced in Calais will help speed up the processing of the asylum seekers and ensure the swift return of the irregular migrants.”