Monday

28th May 2018

Stakeholder

Liberal leaders united on European Border and Coast Guard

  • "Turkey has to respect the 72 obligations that are needed for a VISA liberalisation," said ALDE Group leader Guy Verhofstadt. (Photo: Itaka Media)

At the invitation of ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen MEP, ALDE Group leader in the European Parliament Guy Verhofstadt, liberal heads of states and EU commissioners met at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on Thursday (17 March) ahead of the European Council Summit.

The latest developments on tackling the migration crisis, particularly EU-Turkey cooperation, and the need for establishing a European Border and Coast Guard were discussed.

Commenting on the meeting, Van Baalen said: "At this liberal Pre-Summit we discussed the refugee crisis and the deal with Turkey, embedded in a broader programme of how to tackle migration including measures such as the European Border and Coast Guard. We all want these ideas to be successful in a European law framework."

Verhofstadt added: "Liberal leaders are all united in the request that we should start as soon as possible to establish a European Border and Coast Guard. It seems necessary for us and we also think it is legally possible according to EU treaties; it is a key solution for the future. Practical arrangements with Turkey are necessary but they will not solve the refugee crisis if they do not have a European Border and Coast Guard."

On future EU-Turkey relations, Verhofstadt concluded that Turkey must comply with the 72 obligations needed for VISA liberalisation and accession negotiations can only restart if the process begins with the chapters on justice, home affairs, freedom of the press, and rule of law.

On the refugee crisis, the deputy prime minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš said, "The solution is peace in Syria and Libya" followed by a Marshall Plan to help rebuild the countries. "With this Marshall Plan, European companies will have huge growth because you have to build a new country."

Disclaimer: This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

EU-Turkey talks: 'Happy conclusion' not guaranteed

EU leaders agreed on a draft plan to stop irregular migration to Europe, but Turkey will have to accept weaker EU commitments on visa liberalisation, accession talks and more aid for refugees.

Impact of the refugee crisis on the EU transport sector

The ALDE Group recently hosted a hearing on the human and economic impact of the refugee crisis on the EU transport sector, which would be one of the hardest hit sectors if the Schengen system falls apart.

Interview

Refugees and Turkey accession 'are separate issues'

The EU parliament's Turkey rapporteur has said member states are wrong to give Ankara a free pass on human rights for the sake of a refugee deal, amid growing criticism of the draft accord.

Green stadiums at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

By the time the tournament kicks off on 14 June, all twelve stadiums will all have undergone a standards certification process for sustainable buildings.

Stakeholders' Views

This EUobserver section provides a platform for EU stakeholders to communicate positions, views and activities.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceEuropean Ombudsman requests more lending transparency from European Investment Bank
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  3. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  4. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  5. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  6. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  8. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  12. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach