Talking Europe – EU Commissioner for migration & asylum urges ‘clarity’ from UK over Channel crossings

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2022 is not yet one month old, but already around a thousand people have made “irregular” crossings from France to the United Kingdom – putting a spotlight back onto the issue of migration between the European Union and its former member state. Margaritis Schinas is European Commission Vice-President, and the Commissioner in charge of migration and asylum issues. He tells FRANCE 24 he wants “clarity” from the UK over how it wishes to proceed in tackling the issue of thousands of people risking their lives each year to cross the English Channel.  

Commissioner Schinas discusses the impact of new post-Brexit rules, and of the European Union member states’ failure to agree on a common policy on migration and asylum – two factors which he says are behind the “problem” in the Channel. 

We also discuss the tactics being discussed and deployed by various countries to try to deter and manage irregular border crossings. These include the potential use of “long-range acoustic devices” – a type of powerful sonic instrument – to force undocumented migrants to turn back, as suggested by Downing Street officials and as tested by Greek authorities in 2021; and a programme of biometric data collection by Greek police which is 75 percent funded by the European Commission but criticised by human rights activists as potentially illegal.  

Produced by Perrine Desplats, Georgina Robertson, Isabelle Romero and Céline Schmitt

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