The Malta Independent 26 September 2021, Sunday

Roberta Metsola’s law on EU borders approved

Tuesday, 12 February 2019, 09:55 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Metsola Report which establishes a new law which will better protect the Union’s external borders, has been approved by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, after weeks of negotiations with different political groups, as well as stakeholders in the sector, both in Malta and across Europe.

MEP Roberta Metsola will now lead, on behalf of the European Parliament, the negotiations with the Governments of the EU’s Member States on this law, which is expected to be formally passed before May’s EP election.


Roberta Metsola, the Parliament’s Rapporteur on this new law, said: “Malta and Gozo’s location at the southern border of the European Union makes it vulnerable to challenges such as cross-border crime and irregular migration. Europe has a real-added value in this area. The new law which I guided through the European Parliament will tackle this. In all of this my guiding principle has been to be fair with those in need of protection, firm with those who do not, and harsh with those who seek to exploit the most vulnerable.”

The new law will see the introduction of 10,000 new Border and Coast guards who will have the power to fight cross-border crime and deal with individuals who are not eligible to enter the EU’s borders. The Metsola report will also give them the technical equipment to stop any possible criminal actions taking place at the external borders.

Crucially, the Agency will also be able to introduce antenna offices in Member States, such as Malta, to make it easier for the Agency to run its operations in the respective Member States. “This will mean that challenges faced by Malta could be addressed in Malta, and not in an office 3,000 kilometres away, in Warsaw,” said Roberta Metsola, who is also the EPP Group Coordinator within the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee. The new revamped European Border and Coast Guard will have a budget of €11.3 billion during the upcoming EU budget period between 2021 and 2027.

On behalf of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola will now start the negotiations with the Council on this law. “Different Member States have different challenges, and I know it will not be easy to convince mainland countries to invest in countries at the borders. Complexity is not something I have ever shied away from and I am confident we will be able to convince Member States to put their money where their mouth is and understand that safe external borders means a safer and more secure European Union. Citizens trusted us to deliver results, and I am determined to see this through to benefit not only everyone in Malta and Gozo, but everyone in our Union. ”

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