2 June 2010
Tomorrow in the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee we will be voting on the accession of Switzerland and Lichtenstein to FRONTEX, the European cooperation organisation for control of borders and the return of people who have been refused asylum, and of illegal immigrants. The SP stands for human dignity and FRONTEX is primarily a cold-hearted operation designed to expel people and keep them out. That's not to say that some kind of effective border guard and some means of returning people who have no legitimate right to be here isn't necessary, because the alternative would be the American situation in which illegal residence is often condoned but the people involved are put into the hands of traffickers who exploit them in the extreme. I will follow the United Left vote list and vote against the extension of Frontex to Switzerland and Lichtenstein. I'm not interested in symbolic politics, however, so at the same time I shall urge the reform of FRONTEX, so that we can develop a more humane form of border control than is currently the case, a more constructive approach than standing on the sidelines and simply voting 'against'.