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Parliamentary questions
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25 August 2021
Answer given by Ms Johansson
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003322/2021

EU funds reinforce Member States’ border control capacities by co-financing infrastructure, buildings, systems and services required at the EU external borders for border control, such as checks at border crossing points and surveillance between border crossing points, in line with the European Integrated Border Management and the Schengen Borders Code.

Pursuant to the Schengen Borders Code, Member States must prevent and deter unauthorised border crossings. The Schengen Borders Code does not regulate which tools may be used for achieving that purpose. However, under EC law, border control must always be exercised in a proportionate manner and with respect for fundamental rights.

The Commission encourages Member States to use both efficient and proportionate measures for border surveillance based on risk analysis, cooperation and information exchange. While the use of fences is not explicitly excluded by the Schengen Borders Code, the Commission considers that fences are not the most efficient tool to improve border management and, therefore, does not support the use of EU funds for this purpose.

EU funds are not used for new infrastructure in the border perimeter of Ceuta and Melilla. Spain’s national programme under the Internal Security Fund — Border and Visa has supported other actions at the border crossing points of Ceuta and Melilla, such as the introduction of optical fibre in the border perimeter, a human counting system using facial recognition via CCTV cameras and the update of the Ceuta CCTV.

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