10th Aug 2022

Spain injects immigration into EU birthday text

  • Last year saw an unprecedented amount of Africans taking the perilous trip in search of work in Europe (Photo: European Commission)

The German EU presidency included a last-ditch line in its Berlin Declaration that the EU would combat illegal immigration after a request by Spain, which experienced a large upturn in illegal migrants in the past year.

European leaders agreed Saturday (24 March) on a final version of the Berlin Declaration marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the European Union, amending the declaration to include a reference to illegal migration.

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Spain "is very present in the Berlin Declaration" said the country's prime minister Jose Louis Zapatero, according to, after the signing ceremony in Berlin on Sunday (25 March).

The text sets out the past achievements and future aspirations of the 27-member bloc.

"We will fight terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration together" – said the final version of the text, which had no other major changes made to it.

The paragraph was added at the request of Spain, which has experienced a wave of immigration from Africa in recent months, said German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm, according to German news agency DPA.

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