BRUSSELS: The European Commission will provide France with 20 million euros ($22 million) to cope with waves of would-be migrants from north Africa and the Middle East.
France and the U.K. are trying to stop hundreds of migrants attempting to use the Channel Tunnel to reach Britain from the French port city of Calais. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who was criticized by opposition leaders after describing African migrants to Europe as “a swarm,” pledged additional aid to France on July 31.
The aid is the first tranche of more than 266 million euros reserved for France in the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and more than 370 million euros designated for the U.K. through 2020, according to a statement published Tuesday by the commission, the EU’s executive branch in Brussels.
“The situation in Calais is another stark example of the need for a greater level of solidarity and responsibility in the way we deal with migratory pressures in Europe,” Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said in the statement. “It is one piece of a bigger puzzle that requires a broad set of responses,”
Avramopoulos held talks with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and with U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Calais, according to the release. Neither country has requested additional assistance, he said.