The European Union will not finance "barbed wire and walls" at the borders to prevent the arrival of migrants, as demanded by twelve countries including Lithuania and Austria, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday.

"I was very clear on the fact that there is a long-standing common position of the Commission and the European Parliament, that there will be no financing of barbed wire and walls," said the head. of the European executive at the end of a summit of the Twenty-Seven in Brussels where the question was discussed.

Austria with Lithuania

Lithuania is building a barbed wire fence along its border with Belarus to stem an influx of migrants that Alexander Lukashenko's regime is accused of orchestrating.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said in Brussels on Friday that such measures were "most necessary in the short term to manage this crisis".

“If Lithuania builds a barrier (...) it should be able to count on our solidarity.

It is not for Lithuanian taxpayers to finance this alone, ”said the new Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg.

Interior ministers from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and the Czech Republic, Slovakia) wrote on October 7 to the Commission asking the EU to finance the construction of such fences.

“A physical barrier appears to be an effective border protection measure, which serves the interests of the whole EU, not just the member states on the front line,” they argued.

Several fences already built

Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson then replied that countries had "the possibility and the right to build fences".

"But as to whether we should use European funds, which are limited, to finance the construction of fences instead of other equally important things, that is another question", she was content to indicate. .

Poland, like Lithuania, has started to build a barbed wire fence on part of its border with Belarus.

Hungary, for its part, erected this type of barrier on the border with Serbia and Croatia (a member country of the EU but which is not in Schengen) during the migration crisis of 2015. Slovenia did the same with Croatia.


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Keywords: barbed wire, countries, poland, arrival, ursula von der leyen, part, eu, fence, austria, borders, border, migrants, walls, lithuania, influx