The European Union does not have an established common border patrol body. Frontex is a coordinating body that helps member states cooperate in the protection of their borders and at times carries out special operations at the EU’s borders.
Amid the refugee crisis that has unfolded over the past few months, discussion on how the EU can better protect is borders has arisen. More than 500,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Greece this year, with boats smuggling people from the Turkish shores to the Greek islands on a daily basis.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had proposed the conduction of joint patrols of the Aegean sea by Greek and Turkish authorities to prevent these smuggling operations. The Greek government rejected this course of action.
The German government clarified on Wednesday that it suggests coordination between Greece and Turkey and not joint sea patrols.
Meimarakis, who made the statements in Madrid during preparations for the European People’s Party Conference, noted that European borders cannot be protected by non-member states, and EU members should cooperate to ensure the safety of the border, ANA-MPA reports.
He called the refugee crisis an international humanitarian issue.