Monday

19th Feb 2018

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).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.

Greek EU commissioner challenges bribery allegations

Dimitris Avramopoulos says he will mount a legal challenge to reveal the identities of people behind allegations that he, along with other former Greek ministers, had accepted money from a Swiss pharmaceutical giant.

Rights watchdog to visit Turkey over rule of law

The Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe, is heading to Ankara next week. The trip follows new plans by Ankara to meet EU demands for reforms in areas like anti-terror legislation.

Data privacy chiefs wary of lagging EU states

EU data protection chiefs are worried member states won't be ready when a new wide-sweeping general data protection regulation goes live on 25 May. National laws still need to be passed to ensure data authorities can enforce the regulation EU-wide.

Greek EU commissioner challenges bribery allegations

Dimitris Avramopoulos says he will mount a legal challenge to reveal the identities of people behind allegations that he, along with other former Greek ministers, had accepted money from a Swiss pharmaceutical giant.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses 'no danger'
  2. Spanish king in Barcelona next week
  3. Turkey jails journalists for life
  4. Make budget cuts in farm and regional funds, the Dutch say
  5. UN: Hungary's anti-migration bill is 'assault on human rights'
  6. Journalist Deniz Yucel freed in Turkey
  7. New organic farming bill not ready until late spring
  8. Commissioner: Western Balkans in EU is 'obvious'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  2. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  3. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  4. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  6. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  7. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  8. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  9. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  10. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  11. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health
  12. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections

Latest News

  1. EU asks charities to explain anti-abuse measures
  2. ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK
  3. EU states stay mute on implementation of mercury bill
  4. Baltic states demand bigger EU budget
  5. Germany raises concerns over Hungary's 'Stop Soros' bills
  6. EU ties Brexit transition talks to divorce agreement
  7. EU divided over Western Balkan enlargement
  8. Facebook and Twitter weak on protecting users, says EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EPSUDrinking Water Directive Step Forward but Human Right to Water Not Recognized
  2. European Gaming & Betting AssociationGambling Operators File Data Protection Complaint Against Payment Block in Norway
  3. European Jewish CongressEJC Expresses Deep Concern Over Proposed Holocaust Law in Poland
  4. CECEConstruction Industry Gets Together to Discuss the Digital Revolution @ the EU Industry Days
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Relations in the New Era
  6. European Free AlllianceEnd Discrimination of European Minorities - Sign the Minority Safepack Initiative
  7. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Diversity Shouldn’t Be Only a Slogan” Lorant Vincze (Fuen) Warns European Commission
  8. Dialogue PlatformWhat Can Christians Learn from a Global Islamic Movement?
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC President Warns Europe as Holocaust Memory Fades
  10. European Free AlllianceNo Justice From the Spanish Supreme Court Ruling
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  12. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%