Update on the current situation at the borders to Greece and Turkey

In the first 10 months of 2019, the Bulgarian Border Police officers prevented 2,122 attempts at ‚illegal‘ entry at the Bulgarian-Turkish border and 3,795 attempts at the border with Greece. This was statet by the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior (MoI). In September 2019 the number of people who were trying to attempt the Greek-Bulgarian border was rising. Due to the Bulgarian MoI Mladen Marinov further police units were installed at the border. The Bulgarian premier Boiko Borissow stated that at the moment around a daily amount of 150 migrants are being caught in the border region. Recently the MoI approved also a an emergency response plan.

During a meeting with Alexander Dobrindt in Berlin Borissov statet that he was not sure anymore if a membership of Bulgaria in the Schengenarea during the current times would be meaningful, because of the possible ‚danger‘ of more migrants coming from Greece. Already a few days later Borissov relativized his statement and demanded more support. The European Comission declared that it is aware of the increase of the numbers, but the numbers are a lot lower than before the EU-Turkey deal.

The German broadcoast ARD produced Report München, the British Guardian and the research network Correctiv reported about the Europeans Border Guard’s acceptance of human rights abuses by national Bulgarian officers. The Bulgarian MoI Marinov declared to the accusation that “physical violence is only used, if the situation will require it“. He further stated that this was only happening during attacks against the Bulgarians border guards. FRONTEX declared that it has “no authority towards the behaviour of national border guards and no authorization for launching investigations on the territory of EU-member states“.

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