Commissioner Avramopoulos says Europe’s future depends on the implementation of its principles and values

European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Thursday that Europe’s future depends on the degree to which the terms and principles on which the EU has been built are understood and consistently implemented, noting that the migration crisis is not over yet.

Avramopoulos was speaking during a dialogue with citizens organized by the University of Cyprus and the representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, under the title Migration and Security: the challenges for Europe.

He said that soon EUROPOL staff will be present at Larnaka International Airport as part of improving border controls.

Avramopoulos assured that in case Cyprus needs more financial aid to manage refugee flows, it will get it.

The European Commissioner noted that migration and security are the two top issues worldwide, adding that 75 million refugees and 260 million migrants are on the move.

Europe’s future depends on how these two big issues will evolve he said, adding that populists in Europe take advantage of these two matters to undermine the foundations of the EU, question the basic principles and values on which it has been built, two of which are solidarity and responsibility.

Avramopoulos said that the EU was unready to deal with the crisis and it did not have a clue what migration is, but added that we are not in a crisis now, as arrivals have plummeted and are manageable.

The European Commissioner noted that nationalism and populism are a dangerous mixture that could lead to new confrontations and cited the political situation in the wider region of Southeastern Europe, mainly in the Balkans. Ukraine is now under great pressure said Avramopoulos, and warned that if an incident occurs there, then Poland, Hungary and other neighboring countries would need Europe’s solidarity, something that their governments should keep in mind, he said.

The Commissioner called on European citizens to vote for political parties that believe in the EU, its principles and values in the upcoming European elections.

He also dissociated migration from terrorism and stressed the need to protect the EU’s external borders. Soon EUROPOL staff will be present at Larnaka airport in order for us to be able to better control our common European borders he said.

The Commissioner noted that Cyprus has asked for money and has received it and if it requests for more it will be granted to it, replying to a question about the financial support that the member states receive from the EU to handle refugee flows.

Europe’s future depends now on the degree the terms and the principles on which the EU has been built are understood and consistently implemented, primarily the principle of solidarity, he stressed.

Migration is not over yet, said the Commissioner, stressing that all the countries must have strong and well-organized migration services for the future. We live in the era of human mobility.

Concluding, he noted that there is only one road: European integration and urged the societies to support the EU’s initiatives and policies.

Source: Cyprus News Agency