Thursday

21st Sep 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

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.”

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.

Stakeholders' Views

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

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  2. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  3. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  5. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  6. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  9. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  10. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  11. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  12. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies