Head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has lambasted EU member states for changing their stance on stricter border control and empowering the bloc’s border agency Frontex in an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
"All EU leaders have called for better protection of the European external border for more than two years. And now, suddenly, many sides have started voicing concerns. This would be interference in national sovereignty, everything would go too fast and the numbers would be too high. That's blatant hypocrisy”, he said.
Juncker claimed that those who have been criticizing the underdeveloped border control would not want to get involved.
“Europe cannot work like that. We need to act quickly so that we are prepared and really take the EU's external borders under control", Juncker stated.
In September, the European Commission proposed the creation of an Asylum Agency and reinforcing the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex) with 10,000 personnel by 2020 to handle illegal migration at the bloc’s borders — which is 8,500 more than the agency has now.
The proposals have not met unanimous support from all nations. Minister of the Hungarian Prime Minister's Cabinet Office Antal Rogan, for instance, said in a statement that Budapest would not transfer border protection duties to Frontex, nor would it outsource its right to decide who can and cannot receive refugee status to the proposed Asylum Agency.
The setback prompted Austria to propose a more distant deadline for the reinforcement, 2027, while German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer suggested 2025 as a more "feasible term".
The recent two-day European Council meeting, which took place in October, defined examination of the commission's recent proposals as its priority.