European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday slammed EU member countries for their slow response in providing funds and experts to manage the region’s worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Juncker's comments come even as French authorities announced Tuesday they were moving some refugees to different regions, while Germany said it was planning to send border guards to Slovenia to help the latter cope with the massive influx of refugees.
Juncker told EU lawmakers that the "member states have been moving slowly at a time when they should be running." He also said that the region needs more experts to help register, screen and fingerprint people reaching Italy and Greece. Frontex, the EU's border agency, said it needs 775 experts but only half that number has been pledged so far.
"Half is not enough, we need more," Juncker said, according to the AP, adding that the experts are "crucially essential if we want operational decisions to be implemented," and warned that the EU is "losing all kinds of credibility."
Meanwhile, French authorities said they were moving about 300 refugees from the camp in Calais to different regions in France to reduce pressure on the port city. The camp, locally known as “the jungle,” is believed to have doubled in size, the AP reported, adding that it is currently hosting about 6,000 people. Calais has been witnessing a surge in the number of refugees who plan to sneak into the U.K. despite strict warnings from British and French authorities.
However, the local French administration reportedly said that about 292 people were planning to stay in France by applying for asylum, instead of going to the U.K.
Germany’s Interior Ministry said Tuesday that its police force is considering helping with the refugee crisis. The decision follows a meeting between leaders of 11 EU nations and three non-EU countries in Brussels on Sunday, where a 17-point plan was finalized with an aim to increase cooperation to tackle the influx of refugees.
The German ministry did not clarify the number of officers who would be deployed further, but added that federal officials were already conducting border checks. The country's police force had earlier pledged to arrange 50 extra officers to help Frontex in Greece, the AP reported.
Europe is facing its biggest refugee emergency in decades as over 700,000 people have made their way into the continent since the beginning of this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.