Germany will help Bulgaria to get further support for its border security, it emerged after talks between chancellor Angela Merkel and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, who has called on his counterparts from Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia for more solidarity on the migrant and refugee issue.
Borissov and Merkel held talks on August 27 on Europe’s refugee and migrant issue, while the Bulgarian Prime Minister was in Berlin to participate in a series of talks initiated by Merkel on the future of the European Union.
The same day, Borissov participated in discussions hosted by Merkel, involving the heads of government of Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.
Borissov came to Berlin from Istanbul, where on August 26 he had held talks with Turkish prime minister Binali Yildirim and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following those talks, Borissov pledged to take to the EU Turkey’s messages about the visa liberalisation deal, underlining that he insisted that the lifting of Schengen visa requirements for Turkish citizens should go ahead.
Earlier in the week, Borissov said that he was talking to Turkey to ensure that Bulgaria’s neighbouring country did not release a massive wave of refugees across its borders, and spelling out his belief that the EU has failed, in the face of the refugee and migrant crisis, to show solidarity and come up with a proper bloc-wide response.
Borissov’s talks in Turkey’s largest city and in Germany’s capital came just a week after EU border agency Frontext deployed 100 staff to assist their Bulgarian colleagues at the Turkish and Serbian borders.
Borissov and Merkel are set to hold further talks on a solution to the refugee crisis, at a meeting in September in Vienna, to which they were invited by Austrian chancellor Christian Kern.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister wants his country, in third place in the number of refugees it receives, to be equated to Italy and Greece in getting European solidarity in protecting its external border.
Borissov wants technical support in the form of patrol boats and helicopters to assist in border security.
Reportedly, Austrian chancellor Kern favours an approach towards Turkey different to that of Borissov, and at the August 27 meeting in Berlin is said to have pushed for an uncompromising policy towards Ankara, even including termination of negotiations on Turkey joining the EU.
The EU is making some efforts to stem the flow of migrants at source, and is currently holding intensive negotiations with Mali and Niger to stop the influx of migrants from those two countries. The concept is that the EU would provide money and assistance against the starvation that is prompting people from Niger to make the journey to seek a better life in the EU.