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EU states to get major cash boost for border security and migration systems

EU states to get major cash boost for border security and migration systems
 

With international politics at maximum intensity, the European Commission has made more than €250 million (roughly US$272 million) available to beneficiaries of funds related to border security and migration management. A news release from the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs says the funds will subsidize digital surveillance systems at external land borders, which include biometrics, and the installation of optical fiber and software for better data exchange and identity processing among control centers, and otherwise reinforce reception and asylum systems under pressure.

Specifically, €141 million ($153 million) is allocated to Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania through the Border Management and Visa Instrument Fund, and €118 million ($128 million) goes to Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Spain through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), which is set up through 2027 and worth a total of €9.88 billion ($10.73 billion).

The Commission’s AMIF contribution will support unaccompanied minors and reception facilities at external borders through training, community care, updates to existing facilities and new builds.

More electronic surveillance, including mobile detection systems, will follow in select member states, and the Commission expects more applications, as the continent struggles to find solutions to an ongoing influx of displaced migrants and refugees. Biometric platforms have proven controversial among privacy advocates and human rights groups that decry the installation of so-called techno borders as invasive and unhelpful to migrants.

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 21.8 million forcibly displaced and stateless people in Europe at the end of 2022.

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