Tuesday

17th Sep 2019

UK offers €10mn for security after migrants storm Channel Tunnel

  • The UK is stepping up security around Calais to prevent migrants from crossing the Channel Tunnel (Photo: Jey OH photographie)

The UK has offered France some €10 million to help build a new fence in Calais after there were around 2000 attempts by migrants to enter the Eurotunnel Monday.

A French police source told AFP that some 2,000 attempts were made on Monday (27 July).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The source noted the figure did not represent the number of migrants but only the number of attempts.

French police said another 1,500 attempts were made on Tuesday night (28 July), with one migrant from Sudan killed after being crushed by a lorry, reports Le Monde.

UK home secretary Theresa May, for her part, on Tuesday announced the extra funds alongside her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve.

“The UK government will be putting in up to £7 million more to ensure the security of the Eurotunnel railhead”, she said.

The money will help pay for a new 2km fence at the Eurotunnel site at Coquelles.

The UK has already paid around €5 million to put up barriers at the site.

The Eurotunnel company, which manages the Channel Tunnel between Britain and France, says it wants millions more in compensation from both governments because of the disruptions.

The latest incursion caused up to 30-minute delays on the French side for passengers wanting to cross the Channel Tunnel and up to a one-hour delay on the UK side.

But similar disruptions have been caused by an on-going spat between ferry staff from France's MyFerryLink and the Eurotunnel group.

Last week, French ferry workers blocked access to the Channel Tunnel terminal after setting fire to tyres.

An estimated 3,000 migrants are camped in and around the port, known as the 'jungle'.

Most migrants are fleeing persecution and conflict from places like Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan.

Eritreans have a high chance of getting asylum in most member states.

But France last year only approved 15 percent of Eritrean applications, according to the EU’s statical office Eurostat.

Afghan asylum applications in France fared much better with an above 80 percent approval rate.

Those unable to pay smugglers opt to take matters in their own hands and attempt to scramble onto the back of lorries. Many risk their lives in the process.

Earlier this month near Calais, a body was found on the roof a freight train heading to the UK.

French police do not record the death or injury incidents.

But a Guardian investigation last year revealed at least 15 migrants in Calais had died in their attempts to reach Britain. Another nine perished trying to enter the tunnel since June.

Aid agencies say the situation has since become worse with some describing the squalid living conditions and desperation of the migrants camped around the port “as catastrophic”.

In late March, French authorities forced over 1000 migrants to move from makeshift camps around Calais to a former garbage dump around seven kilometres from town centre.

French NGOs in April denounced the move. The new state-sanctioned site has no running water, no electricity, and no toilet facilities.

“This must be one of the worst refugee camps in the world. Even in African camps they have water and toilets. It’s just a wasteland”, an aid worker told the Guardian in April.

Investigation

EU may extend 'passenger name records' to rail and sea

Documents reveal that EU states are considering broadening requirements on keeping passenger records, currently only applicable to air carriers, to providers of other modes of transport.

News in Brief

  1. Apple and Ireland appeal €13bn EU tax ruling
  2. UK PM should provide witness statement, court told
  3. Italy's ex-PM Renzi quits ruling Democratic Party
  4. German top lawmaker scolds Bettel over Johnson snub
  5. Greens decide on Tuesday on talks on Five Star joining
  6. Belgian mayors give Juncker a tongue-lashing
  7. Von der Leyen defends 'way of life' slogan
  8. Court hears case on UK's pre-Brexit parliament shutdown

Stalling on VAT reform costing billions, says Commission

German media outlet Correctiv, along with other newsrooms, have revealed how criminals annually cheat EU states out of billions in VAT fraud. The EU Commission says solutions exist - but member states refuse to budge on tax unanimity.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs
  2. Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing
  3. Trumpworld In Europe
  4. How EU firms and banks help fund Amazon fires
  5. Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal
  6. EU must give full support to Ukraine to dissuade Kremlin
  7. EU divided on how to protect rule of law
  8. Nordic region to become world's most sustainable and integrated

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us