Friday, March 11, 2005

Frontiers Question

The European Council has responded to questions on the European External Frontiers Agency as it affects Gibraltar after an intervention by Graham Watson MEP.

He asked why given that Gibraltar forms part of Europe’s external frontiers Gibraltar has been excluded, against its will and with the complicity of the Governments of the United Kingdom
and Spain, from the European External Frontiers Agency?

He also asked if the Council accept that the decision to exclude Gibraltar from the External Frontiers Agency not only legitimises an untenable Spanish claim that Europe ends at La Linea but that it sets a worrying precedent by effectively ghettoising the European citizens of Gibraltar outside the external borders of the European Union and depriving them of influence over the management of a frontier of which they are an integral part?

The Council replied that “the Council Regulation establishing the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in which the United Kingdom does not take part, in accordance with Council Decision 2000/365/EC of 29 May 2000. The United Kingdom is therefore not bound by it nor subject to its application.”

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