The PSD directly questioned the Prime Minister about whether he intends to reform the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), in an area of sovereignty such as internal security, “on the back of Parliament and under the carpet”.
On the day that SEF inspectors held a protest in front of the Assembly of the Republic, against the Government’s intention to extinguish this service, the PSD received them “inside the Parliament”, underlined the party’s vice-president and deputy André Coelho Lima.
“This is an area of sovereignty, and for the PSD, areas of sovereignty are not an area of party politics, they are an area of understanding, ”he said in statements to journalists in the Assembly of the Republic.
The Social-Democratic leader noted “the differences in posture in the Government”, recalling that, last week, the Minister of Defense said that he would read “in depth” the PSD’s proposals in this area and that “he recognized attitudes of understanding”.
“In Internal Administration, an area of sovereignty, we have a completely opposite stance on the part of the minister: he wants to reform a very important security force alone, behind Parliament’s back and the political debate ”, he criticized.
Coelho Lima pointed out that, regarding the way in which the municipalities were carried out, António Costa “disagreed head-on” with Minister Eduardo Cabrita last week, saying he believes that this could also happen in this matter.
“It is no longer to the Minister of Internal Administration, but to the Prime Minister that I ask: do you intend to spend a reform in an area of sovereignty on the back of Parliament and under the carpet“, He questioned.
The PSD deputy stressed that there is a broad understanding between Government, PSD and “even unions” in separating police and administrative functions in the internal security system.
“What is being discussed here is whether the SEF should stop having police functions, this is totally unadvisable in our view, due to the experience it has, the message it transmits in external terms and why to extinguish the SEF would be to extinguish one of the best technical police ”, He defended.
The PSD deputy also pointed out that this reform came after the case of the death of Ukrainian citizen Ihor Homeniuk in the SEF facilities of Lisbon Airport, in March 2020, and does not result from “a scheduled performance”, stressing that there are open tenders for hiring new SEF elements until 2023.
“What is happening at the moment to requests for asylum and regularization, since the SEF is not allowed to provide assistance at the instruction of the MAI?” Asked Coelho Lima.
Asked about what would be the best way for the PSD to carry out this reform, the Social Democratic leader stressed that “the SEF must not lose its police aspect”.
“Our proposal is that, with responsibility, in the parliamentary context, we think of an organic separation, transversal in the entire internal security system [entre funções policiais e administrativas], and not exclusive to SEF, this is talking about a global and not a casuistic reform ”, he defended.
Organized by the Union for the Investigation and Inspection of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SCIF / SEF), the protest followed the announcement made by the Minister of Internal Administration that inspectors will pass to the PSP, GNR or Judiciary Police, after the restructuring of SEF.
Throughout the morning the about 200 inspectors they were concentrated in front of the Assembly of the Republic, where they displayed banners and expressed their discontent.
“Our extinction is an aberration”, “Internal security is decided in the Assembly of the Republic”, “SEF / Frontex, Police is not simplex” and “No to extinction, no to merger and no to integration” were some of the phrases that stood out on the tracks.
The union’s president, Acácio Pereira, told reporters that the reform of the SEF “must deserve the consensus of all political parties with seats in the Assembly of the Republic and not just be a matter decided by the Council of Ministers”.
“The Government is not mandated to decide on this matter. This matter should be decided in the Assembly of the Republic, which is the competent body ”, he stressed.