site.btaEC President von der Leyen: EU Can Provide Infrastructure, Equipment for Bulgarian-Turkish Border
"We have a shared interest in strong external borders. The most pressing issues right now are at the land border between Bulgaria and Turkiye," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, at the European Parliament plenary on the preparation of the Special European Council meeting of February, in particular the need to develop sustainable solutions in the area of asylum and migration Wednesday.
"We can strengthen the border management capabilities. We can also provide infrastructure and equipment, like drones, radar and other means of surveillance, as we have done in the last years for example in Romania, Spain, Greece and Poland, we can increase the presence of Frontex", von der Leyen explained. She also said she would present these and other migration-related proposals at next week's extraordinary European Council.
She believes that action is needed to crack down on illegal migration across the Mediterranean, to combat smugglers, extend asylum to those in need and return those who have no reason to stay in the EU. The European Commission President added that very few return decisions for irregular migrants are still being implemented, while the number of new arrivals is increasing significantly.
Von der Leyen insisted that return decisions issued by one EU country should be recognised by the rest of the Community. She also reported that so far only a few hundred refugees granted international protection are being resettled on a voluntary basis between European countries.