During their first working meeting since the appointment of the new British government, the two ministers reviewed the efforts under way to strengthen the common border following the Evian Franco-British summit of 6 July 2009:
the dismantling of the “jungle” and other unlawful camps along the Channel and North Sea coasts has deprived the gangs of their logistical support bases.
thanks to a joint intelligence unit dedicated to combating illegal immigration rings, set up in Folkestone and in which all the French and British specialist services participate, the exchange of information between the two police forces is now standard practice.
border controls have been optimized in the port of Calais through the creation of a Franco-British Joint Operational Coordination Centre, bringing together border police, customs officials and the United Kingdom Border Agency, and installation of new security equipment paid for by the United Kingdom.
since the beginning of the year, the Direction centrale de la Police aux Frontières [DCPAF – French Central Directorate of Border Police] has questioned 212 migrant traffickers in the Calais area and dismantled 5 international rings smuggling immigrants into the United Kingdom, organized from several European countries.
Eric Besson and Damian Green welcomed the fact that during the first half of 2010 there were 85% fewer illegal attempts to cross the border in the port of Calais, and 54% fewer through the Channel Tunnel.
They asked their police services to conduct new coordinated operations, in close cooperation with the other European countries, against the traffickers’ networks operating in France and the United Kingdom.
They also agreed to make the common border even more impermeable and increase Franco-British cooperation in combating the main illegal immigration routes.
France and the United Kingdom will also combine their efforts so that the strengthening of Frontex is effective by the end of the year, particularly with a view to the organization and financing of joint flights by the European agency responsible for controlling borders./.