“We fear that this transfer and distribution of competences will prove to be a real disaster, with a direct impact on Portugal's internal security. It is urgent to take measures so that our borders are properly preserved, until the entire process in progress is duly clarified and it is possible to implement the desired conditions", considers the OSI in an analysis of the process of extinction of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF).

Internal security

In a comment on the restructuring, the OSI expresses concern about the impact that the current state of the process will have on internal security.

According to the OSI, the current process of extinction of SEF will result in “a drastic decrease in internal security standards”, exposing the country “to external threats, enhanced by the war situation experienced in Ukraine”.

“OSI cannot fail to express its concern about the errors detected in the distribution of border competences between the PSP and the GNR, considering the discretion and levity of the analysis of the assumptions regarding the principles of territoriality and specialisation, and sees in these errors obstacles that jeopardise the efficiency and effectiveness of border control, and potentiate serious differences between security forces and services on the ground”, reads the comment.

The OSI also argues that it is “necessary to protect the specificity of the mission of the Judiciary Police, as a superior body of the criminal police and security service, considerably increasing its funding, allowing a constant update of operational equipment that allows them to be effective in the investigation and combat of new forms of crime”.

“Embarrassing” salaries

“The PSP and the GNR cannot continue to despise basic careers (what we call “classical police”), and must demand from the tutelage that salaries be an attractive component of a demanding and complicated career; a member of the GNR cannot earn less than a PSP agent, and both cannot earn little more than the national minimum wage. The salary and career progression gap between rank and file is embarrassing to the latter to say the least,” the OSI analysis concluded.

The Ministry of Internal Administration has already guaranteed that the restructuring process of SEF will take place and the proposal for the State Budget for this year shows that the extinction of this security service is underway, which was postponed from January to May due to the Covid-19 pandemic.