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European Migrant crisis: EU Parliament approves setting up border force to deal with migrants

The new force represents an expansion of the size and tasks of the existing Frontex border agency, based in Warsaw.

By: AFP | Brussels | Published: July 7, 2016 1:36:44 am
A boat full migrants sank in the Mediterranean sea south of Crete,302 people were rescued( Source: Google maps) The new force could intervene in frontline countries like Italy and Greece.

The European Parliament approved a new border guard force to tackle the migrant crisis which could intervene in front-line countries like Greece and Italy from September.

The EU’s 28 member states agreed to set up the force in June as a key part of the bloc’s strategy for tackling the flow of the migrants along with a deal with Turkey sealed in March.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg, France, approved the new border force by 483 votes to 181 against, with 48 abstentions.

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“The legislation will enter into force this autumn,” the European Parliament said in a statement.

Brussels aims to have the force start operations in September and be fully operational by November, under a roadmap to restore the passport-free Schengen Zone after the travails of the migration crisis.

Several countries have reintroduced border controls that were eliminated years ago as part of Schengen as the EU deals with a record flow of more than one million migrants and refugees since the start of 2015.

Under the deal, member states would still manage their borders on a daily basis but could call on emergency support from a pool of at least 1,500 border guards.

The new force represents an expansion of the size and tasks of the existing Frontex border agency, based in Warsaw.

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