The EU wants billions from Norway for new border strengthening measures

Norwegian and EU FlagsNorwegian and EU Flags.Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

A new strength of 10,000 armed border guards will prevent illegal immigration to Europe.Norway will contributes both money and personnel.

 

A cornerstone of EU efforts to control immigration will be the EU Commission’s own stamp on the new borderline.

The strength will be fully operational by 2020, with a total of 10,000 armed border guards who will be ready to move out when needed.

If EU member states want to join the ambitious plan is still an open question.But if they say yes, it will cost.

Large extra costs

According to the EU commission’s own estimates, an expense of 577.5 million euros are needed to cover only extra costs in 2019 and 2020.

This bill Norway must take a part in paying.

The reason is that the new borderline force will be placed under the European border and Coast Guard Office, Frontex, where all four EFTA countries are associate members. In total, the EFTA countries projectively cover 6% of the total Frontex budget. Norway’s share is 2.2%.

According to NTB’s calculations, this means that Norway must invest in an extra NOK 120 million in 2019 and 2020 if the force becomes a reality.

NOK billion in costs

During the seven-year period from 2021 to 2027, the European Commission is proposing that Frontex get an even bigger budget.

The total contributions of the EFTA countries will then be estimated at EUR 719 million according to the EU Commission’s budget proposal. According to NTB’s calculations, this means that Norway must invest in a quota of between 2.4 and 2.5 billion kroner for the seven-year period.

Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara of Fremskrittsparti (Frp) believes it is too early to comment on the figures.

“We are not considering the price tag now,” he says.

According to Wara, Norway is not rejecting the proposal. But it is far from finished with negotiations he pointed out.

Compulsory contributions

Inside the EU, discussions can be difficult. This is because border control today is primarily a national task. It is far from being a done deal that member states are willing to leave patrols to an EU body.

The EU Commission for its part, emphasised that it is still the member states that will have the command. The purpose of the Commonwealth of Europe is to ensure extra capacity only when needed.

A key element in the plan is that it will be mandatory to provide personnel explained a centrally located EU source.

‘’Is there a problem today? The answer is yes’’ said the official on condition of anonymity.

“We have several concrete examples of situations where we have requested personnel from member countries, but ended up with a significant deficit of people. Sometimes a deficit of 40-50%.

Call for Norwegian personnel

Also on the crew side, the European Commission has called for a contribution from Norway.

Initially, 1,500 of the 10,000 border guards will be permanent employees in Frontex. The EU did not make any demands on which countries they should come from.

But 1,500 will also be personnel posted from the different member countries.Here, Norway must initially contribute 20 guards.

The last 7,000 border guards will constitute a reserve that can be issued at short notice when needed. Norway has to contribute 93 of them.

Over time, the amount of permanent employees and outgoing personnel will be doubled,while the reserve will be reduced accordingly.

 

© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today

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