France is facing challenges in developing cooperation agreements with the United Kingdom to reduce the number of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats. According to a report from France’s Court of Accounts, the UK is not effectively coordinating with France to address this issue.
The report highlighted the formation of a joint intelligence unit in 2020 to combat human smuggling and reduce the number of boat crossings. However, the UK is providing vague and unverified information on the departure of small boats, causing an imbalance in intelligence exchange between the two countries.
In response, UK authorities refuted the claims and emphasized their close collaboration with French partners to combat people-smuggling gangs. They also highlighted the increase in small boat arrivals, with over 100,000 crossings in the past few years.
The report also recommended implementing policies to incentivize migrants to voluntarily return to their home countries by offering financial assistance, as this approach has proven effective in other countries. However, the Court of Accounts noted that France lags behind the UK and Germany in this respect.
Overall, the report sheds light on the challenges and opportunities for France and the UK to strengthen their cooperation in addressing the issue of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats. It remains to be seen how both countries will work together to improve the situation and uphold their shared responsibilities in managing migration flows.
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