Are Touquet Accords Living Their Final Years? A European meeting to consolidate the fighting took place in Calais on Sunday 28 November, four days after the worst migrant drama to have taken place across the English Channel. “Against the network of smugglers”. Without the British, put out by France in response to a letter published on Thursday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
>> Follow the meeting on the migration crisis Live in Calais
Discussions were also held by the German, Dutch, Belgian and French ministers in charge of immigration, as well as the European Commissioner for Home Affairs and the Europol and Frontex agencies. “Working Framework with Great Britain”, Gerald Dormann said at the end of the meeting. A framework currently governed by these agreements of Touquet, concluded in 2003. Regularly criticized, the treaty that regulates migratory flows between France and the United Kingdom is at the center of tensions between Paris and London. FranceInfo explains why.
Agreements concluded in 2003 to turn the page on the corresponding center
Signed on 4 February 2003 by Paris and London during the 25th Franco-British summit, the Touquet Treaty aims to regulate immigration into the two countries, in particular illegal immigration. It complements the Compatible Protocol, which was terminated in May 2000. The general principle of these texts is simple: persons leaving for the United Kingdom should be screened when trains and boats depart from France, and vice versa. , For example, in this capacity the British police investigate France at Gare du Nord in Paris and Saint-Pancras station in London.
The Touquet Agreements, which entered into force on 1 February 2004, stipulate that the two countries should also have joint control over ports, which have become crossing points for illegal migrants. At the time, it was a question of turning the page of the corresponding reception center closed a few months earlier at the request of the United Kingdom, which believed that the center constituted one. “Reservoir of illegal immigrants tolerated by France”, Memorization le figurearo,
The text specifically introduces common immigration control offices, known as . is referred to as “Joined together”, in the Channel and North Sea ports: Calais, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Dunkirk on the French side, Dover on the British side.
A treaty met multiple times to answer the migration challenge
If this reciprocity works without difficulty for legal immigration, it is different for illegal crossings. Thanks to the migrant crises of 2010, many candidates for deportation to the United Kingdom immigrated to French shores. This bilateral agreement was then accused of fueling the crisis in the Calais region, blocking immigration candidates wishing to join the other side of the channel.
The Touquet Treaty was thus supplemented by other bilateral agreements in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2018, each time reinforcing France’s control and security along the border between the two countries. In exchange for this surveillance, which is more sensitive on the French side than on the British side, London pays financial compensation, the amount of which is regularly renegotiated.
During his 2017 campaign, Emmanuel Macron himself declared that he wanted “Put tender agreements back on the table, especially for minors to be able to renegotiate terms”, Provides for the first 2018 agreement (the Sandhurst Treaty) to be signed after the Brexit vote“Improving the technical and operational management of shared range”, A specific clause pertains to minors alone, for whom London had agreed to expedite the processing of asylum applications.
The situation has become even more complicated since 2018, with an increase in channel crossings by migrants from across the Opal coast, to bypass the French port of Calais and the reinforced lockdown of the Channel Tunnel. On Wednesday, 27 migrants trying to reach the English coast died after their boat sank, further fueling tensions between Paris and London.
Agreement under criticism from critics…
In France, on the right and on the left, voices are raised to demand a revision of the Treaty of Touquet. On Saturday, FranceInfo’s guest, EELV’s deputy national secretary, Sandra Regol, pointed to the absence “Political will to renegotiate Touquet agreements”, Condemnation “a kind of barter, where we take a small amount of money, but in return we will put a limit”, who “The French Republic is not up to human rights”.
The Republican nominee for the nomination and the president of the Hauts-de-France region, Javier Bertrand, regularly calls “Redefining the Touquet Agreement”, even if it means going “Arm wrestling” with London by allowing candidates to cross. “Migrants will take the ferry, it will cost them 15 euros to cross it”, instead of doing “Racketing by criminals who ask him for hundreds or thousands of dollars. (…) That Mr. [Boris] Johnson got his limit back! , He said during the “Grand Rendez-vous” Europe on Sundayecho,
Are we going to accept other tragedies in the channel? It’s time for it to end! We have to give back their border to the British. If the French trust me, I will condemn the Touquet Agreement. #legrandRDV pic.twitter.com/7wYcJ079Nw
— Xavier Bertrand (@xavierbertrand) November 28, 2021
Brexit also gave the EU an opportunity to relinquish responsibility for the management of illegal crossings in London. “If I remember correctly, the main slogan of the referendum campaign [sur le Brexit] Was ‘We are taking back control’. Since the United Kingdom has withdrawn control, it is up to the British to find the necessary measures to administer the control they have taken back.”, shouted the Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, on Saturday.
… but that the government does not plan to condemn
Can France break its commitment and denounce the Touquet agreements? The legal possibility exists. “This Treaty is concluded for an unlimited period and may be terminated by either Party at any time by notifying the other in writing through a diplomatic channel, which shall be effective two years after the date of the said notification” May we thus read in the 25th and final article of the Treaty of Touquet.
This is not the path chosen by the government at present, fearing to build“A Call to the Wind”According to the Ministry of the Interior, quoted by World Thursday, if Paris denounces the treaty and manages the secret arrival by sea, announces its desire to return to the British. Gerald Darmin’s crew requests to maintain bilateral management of the border, while adding a new treaty to it. European dimension. According to this source, this project will be built every evening. “Legal avenues for asylum seekers such as single minors who have families in England or those who have studied or worked in the country in the past. The EU may, in turn, accept ad-hoc tutoring.”
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