Sunday

21st Jan 2018

EU calls for solidarity on migrant crisis

  • 'All governments must show responsibility', said Avramopoulos (Photo: European commission)

The EU commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, called, Friday (14 August), for EU member states to help fellow countries facing increased arrivals of migrants.

"We need the collective courage to follow through on our commitments. Even when they are not easy, even when they are not popular," he said at a press conference in Brussels.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"What is popular and unpopular has to do with domestic politics, but we must not give in to populism and xenophobia”.

"The EU must think and behave like a union. All governments must show responsibility," he added, without naming and shaming countries which do not do enough.

On Monday, the European Commission approved €2.4 billion over the 2014-2020 period to assist member states cope with the situation.

Avramopoulos repeated that Europe must "show solidarity and share responsibility" especially with Greece, his home country, where "almost 50,000 migrants arrived in July compared to less 6,000 last year for the same month".

The commissioner was in Athens on Thursday, where he participated in a cabinet meeting that discussed "a plan for how we can work together to address a problem that is not Greek [but] that is European".

He announced that, on top of the €474 million approved on Monday (10 August) through a regular national programme on border and asylum management, Greece will soon get €2.74 million of emergency assistance to support activities of the UN refugee agency.

In the coming days, Greece will also ask to benefit from the European civil protection mechanism.

Meanwhile, Avramopoulos called on member states "to pledge the assets needed for Frontex’ joint-operation, Poseidon, operating in the Aegean Sea without delay", and he reminded press that the 28 EU leaders have “unanimously committed to reinforcing the number of assets".

Hungary, where 35,000 migrants arrived in July from the Western Balkans, will also receive €8 million of emergency aid, Avramopoulos said.

The commission has, in addition, received an emergency funding request from Austria and is expecting one from France over the situation in Calais, where migrants try to enter the Channel Tunnel.

"Hungary has joined Italy and Greece as frontline member state," Avramopoulos said. But he criticized the country’s decision to build a wall to stop people crossing from Serbia.

"In Europe, we take down walls, we do not put new ones," he said, suggesting also that the same criticism applies for the fence installed around the Channel Tunnel entrances.

Rights NGOs face fresh threats in EU

While ongoing crackdowns in Poland and Hungary have put the spotlight on rights groups, NGOs are now under new political and financial pressure across the EU, the Fundamental Rights Agency said.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia