An extraordinary meeting was held in the port of Calais, France, to discuss the migrant situation in the English Channel on Sunday, 28 November. Migration officials from France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and the The EU’s politically independent executive arm. It is responsible for drawing up proposals for new European legislation, and it implements the decisions of the
Why an extraordinary meeting?
French President Emmanuel Macron called the extraordinary meeting soon after the dreadful event that happened off the coast of Calais on Wednesday, 24 November. That day, almost thirty people lost their lives while trying to reach the United Kingdom in an inflatable boat.
This is not the first time. Calais has in fact already been associated with phrases such as ‘migration’ or ‘refugee crisis’ for a long time. And it is also a contentious political point between Paris and London. The latter was in fact supposed to participate in the extraordinary summit until France declined the invitation to the British Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The withdrawal came after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent a letter to Macron asking France to take migrants back. Johnson shared the letter on Twitter afterwards, which triggered the anger of Macron. The latter defined Boris’ methods to discuss the issue as ‘not serious’, as reported by POLITICO.
What was decided in Calais?
European Interior ministers discussed possible measures to prevent events like the one on Wednesday from happening again. The ministers stressed the importance of strengthening cross-border cooperation to tackle smuggling activities and avoid deaths at sea. For the same purpose, The European Border & Coast Guard agency tasked with protecting the EU’s external borders. Frontex, the European agency for border controls, will be patrolling via air surveillance the English Channel, Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri The European Border & Coast Guard agency tasked with protecting the EU’s external borders. frontex-a-denombre-160-000-migrants-entres-illegalement-dans-l-ue-depuis-janvier-2021_AV-202111290585.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>confirmed.
Should the UK be involved?
Despite the good will of European Interior ministers, the fact that the UK was left out might be problematic since those migrants leave Europe, and specifically the French port of Calais, to reach the British coasts. Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands stressed the importance of cooperating with the UK to find a solution to the ‘Calais crisis’, as reported by Euronews. Moreover, as The European Border & Coast Guard agency tasked with protecting the EU’s external borders. Frontex Executive Director Leggeri The European Border & Coast Guard agency tasked with protecting the EU’s external borders. frontex-a-denombre-160-000-migrants-entres-illegalement-dans-l-ue-depuis-janvier-2021_AV-202111290585.html”>claimed, joint patrols and operations between the EU and the UK cannot be possible without an agreement between the two, since the UK is outside of the EU and the Schengen area.