The law protecting the external borders of the European Union, piloted and negotiated by Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola, can now be implemented after getting a strong and final approval from the European Parliament.
Negotiations on the law were completed in a record six months, with Dr Metsola working round the clock for the new measures to become law before the European elections in May.
“It was no easy task to convince other political groups and the EU governments to stop their rhetoric on immigration and security and get down to business. Nevertheless, we convinced, and we managed.”
“When I was tasked with drafting a new European Border and Coast Guard law, no one thought we would be here today less than six months later with a deal on the table,” Dr Metsola said.
The new law will see the addition of 10,000 European border and coast guards who will assist member states on a number of issues including migration, cross-border crime and the process of returns with new European fundamental right safeguards.
Addressing a press conference in Strasbourg, European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos heaped praise on Dr Metsola’s efforts to reach an agreement in such a record time.
Concluding her work as a rapporteur of this new law, Dr Metsola said the law was her reply to the people’s concerns about security.
It would transform the way the EU’s agencies dealt with the migration phenomena including ensuring 10,000 new border guards and staff; boosting the fight against crime; protecting fundamental rights and aiding the efficient, safe return of those not eligible for protection.
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