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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU JHA Commissioner Avramopoulos to EF on Peuple Demo Urging FRONTEX to Protect EU Borders to Turkey

EU JHA Commissioner Avramopoulos to EF on Peuple Demo Urging FRONTEX to Protect EU Borders to Turkey

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 22 October 2019

 

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora"s Topical Question on EU Citizens' recent Protests about the way to Face Irregular Migration/Mass Asylum Seekers, particularly from "Hotspots" as Turkey, etc., Experienced EU Commissionzer on JHA, MIgration and EU Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, a former Minister of Defense, Foreign affairs, and Mayor of Capital City Athens, etc., Strongly Backed the Value of EU's External Borders' management Agency "FRONTEX", as well as its Potential, But, with Tact, Care and Diplomacy, he Also Highlighted some Veiled Criticism, about "Principles" that it was "Supposed" to practice, a lot of EU Funds and Means consecrated on its activities for a General Interest purpose, Need to Equally and Harmoniously Serve All its Main Tasks and Not Only Some Among them, the Fact that it wasn't yet Fully what it could and should "Become" in the foreseable Future, Crucial New Competences and/or Policies Added/Stressed only Recently, etc, (See Infra).

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The move is of great Topical Interest Nowadays, particularly as Recent Inflows of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants Augment at the Eastern Mediterranean road, as "FRONTEX" itself Warns, while Turkish President Erdogan notoriously Multiplies even Explicit Threats to Abuse of "3,5 Millions of Refugees" in order to Blackmail Europe for Even More Money and/or for his Aims for Military Invasion/Occupation inside Syria's Kurdish Region.


=> The Main Picture Emerging from all that, appears to Advise that FRONTEX should Support ALL EU Member Countries, all accross various Mediterranean Roads, with the Same Zeal ; Act Efficiently Both for "Rescue" and in order to Fight "Smuggling" ;  fully Prove that it Really Deserved the Important Money, Means and Staff the EU has Invested in it ; rapidly Evolve in order to "Become a Genuine EU External Borders Police" ; Do "a Good Job" also on "Return" Policy, particularly Nowadays ; (Etc. : See Infra).                                  

The Fact that this was Highlighted also in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question on a Topical Event, at the Official "Readout" Press Conference in EU Parliament, of what was meant to be the Last Collective Meeting of the Experienced, Stock-taking Juncker's EU Commission (2014-2019) in Strasbourg, and even at the Same Time that EU linked "Shenghen" area conditions with EU "External Borders Protection", (as, f.ex., in the case of Croatia, a.o.), while EU Parliament's Plenary Session for this Month has Mainly Consecrated its Principal Political Debate, Tomorrow, Wednesday Morning, precisely to Turkey's controversial, illegal and Deadly Military Invasion and Occupation of the Syrian Kurdish Region, that EU Heads of State/Government's latest Summit in Brussels has just Clearly "Condemned", asking Ankara to immediately put an "End" to it, and "Withdraw" all is troops and proxies, (See : ..., etc), Obviously Augments the Interest of such Critical but Useful, Topical concrete Observations.                                                                      

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 - Raising "a Question (also) about the Relations between Schengen and EU's External Borders, as you (the EU Commissioner + the EU Spokeswoman) said" before, "Eurofora" had observed that Recently,"some Facts are Critical, but make it precious to have your views and advise on such Topical Issues" :

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- "Recently, in Greece, as Before in Italy (Comp. f.ex. Beppe Grillo's notorious Remarks about some NGOs and/or even EU's "FRONTEX" allegedly Behaving "as a TAXI" for Mass Irregular Migrants, etc), at the (EU External) Borders, People were Demonstrating - f.ex. (in Greek Island, bordering Turkey) Samos - asking the EU to Help, through FRONTEX, which is Present there, as you Know well, (i.e. on Turkey's Borders to EU Member Greece, which is most Delicate Now, because Also of the Syrian Issue), But, they Felt that it was Not Doing what was Necessary. So, they Asked, in English : "FRONTEX, Please, Do Your Job : Protect EU's External Borders !" ".

 

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- Indeed, "the point is that we (Journalists) have been Receiving many Official Press Releases, until recently, speaking Only about Rescue". "Rescue is Human, it's also a Legal Obligation, so, it's very well that it's being done. But, it's Not the Only Aspect" of FRONTEX's Mission, as percieved by the People. Indeed, at least "when FRONTEX had Started operating there - and you were working on that - they had Tried Also to Fight against Smugglers" (mainly Turkish, there), initially". (At the Beginning, even, a Polish FRONTEX Agent had to Face with a Gun an Armed Turkish Smuggler, and managed to immobilize and arrest him, by an Exchange of Fire... Unfortunately he was Criticized then, instead of being Congatulated...). But, Afterwards, "apparently, we don't see almost Nothing about that, in Press Releases recently : We Only See about "Rescue" and Nothing else", most of the times, "Eurofora" critically observed.

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 -"According to your Experience, what do you think that should be done, there ?", we simply Asked the competent EU Commissioner, (urged to sum up briefly).

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- "Well, You Know, the EU Coast-Guards, as All (EU) Agencies, are Supposed (sic) to be Supporting, in the Same way, All EU Member States", EU Commissioner Avramopoulos Started, in his Reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"'s Question, as a matter of Gereral Principle.

 

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- "And, through Your ("Eurofora"s) Question, I realize that You Know very Well what is the Main Task of FRONTEX. You described its Mandate, and its Tasks", he Kindly told us.

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-  "So, This is what they have been Doing", EU Commissioner Avramopoulos believed. "And, on the Borders between Turkey and Greece, they do a Phantastic Job : They Save Lives. They Fight, in an Effective way, Smugglers", Avramopoulos praised. "They do the Same in the so-called Central Mediterranean Road", (i.e. Facing mainly Italy), "but alo on the Other Side of the Mediterranean" Sea", he claimed, (Despite the Well Known Criticism by Various Top Italian Political Leaders : Comp., f.ex., the Famous "TAXI" Criticism, Supra).

- "Frontex, given the Fact that, during our Days, it was UpGraded, Beefed up, ReinForced, (i.e. Financially supported, with More Staff, etc. -and that's, indeed, True), is Becoming a Genuine EU Exteral Borders' Police", he Optimistically expressed the Hope for the Future.  

-  "I'm Happy to see that our (EU's) Decision to do it, is ground by Successes Everywhere", he estimated, at least as far as the Initial FRONTEX's Work is concerned.

+ "And, I am Sure, that Also in the area of Returns, they (FRONTEX) Will Do a very Good Job, too", EU Commissionaire Avramopoulos, Timely pointed out, Adding a Crucial Point, according to the Latest EU' and National Government's Expectations, in that matter, Including, naturally, those of the New, ChristianDemocrat/EPP Government in Greece, led by New Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who had Already told "Eurofora", Replying to a Similar Question, that his Priority would be to "Accelerate" the Examination of Mass Asylum Seekers' pending Cases, and the More rapid "Return" of those found to be mere Irregular Migrants, as he had told us, Earlier, during the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party's Summit, on the sidelines of EU's 2018 Council in Salzbug, Austria (Comp. various "Eurofora"s NewsReports from Salzburg, then : F.ex., ..., etc) : A Stance which was Confirmed, Recently, when he Won the Latest Elections and became the New Prime Minister.

- "Thank you, (EU) Commissioner Avramopoulos, with a longer Agenda, I hope that we could Cover All the Angles", Wished the Experienced EU Commission's Head Spokeswoman, indirectly pointing at a Lack of Time to Develop Further, at least Certain Key Points, which, indeed, apparently Deserved that, (in such a Complex Issue)...

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Curiously, however, he didn't speak so much, explicitly enough, about EU's margin for European "Coast-Guards" per se, i.e. EU's More Recently Acquired Competence, mainly After 2016's UK Referendum on "BREXIT", Following what, an Exceptional EU Summit at Bratislava (Slovakia) solemnly Promissed to all EU Citizens, particularly a much Better "Protection of EU's External Borders", (See "Eurofora"s NewsReports from that Bratislava EU Summit, f.ex. at: ... + ..., etc). Naturally, it's Not Only ... 1 EU CoastGuard for Each 66 Kms of European SeaCoasts (sic !), according to an Initial Calculation, (See: ..., etc), which could really be Sufficient in order to Make a Big Difference, (even if that meant Not a Permanent Deployment all along EU Coasts, But rather a Specific, Punctual Collective Expedition of More EU CoastGuards Only at a Concrete "Hotspot", at a Precise Moment, Needing Urgent Action).

 - At least until Now, "EU Border CoastGuards are Not Deployed" yet there, (at the currently again "Hot" EU External Borders between EU Member Greece's SeaCoasts and Turkey's Asiatic MainLand), the competent EU Commissioner Avramopoulos observed, in spontaneous reaction, right from the Start of "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question, (Comp. Supra).

 

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=> What should, then, exasperated EU Citizens do, (particularly when they See too Much of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants from Non-European Countries re-Start to Flow Inside Europe, with a Recent Augmentation of More +14% on September 2019 there, through Turkey, Contrary to a ...Diminution of -19% Anywhere Else accross all the rest of Europe, as FRONTEX itself, currently, Denounces at the FrontPage of its own WebSite) ?

frontex_website__14pc._more_imis_from_turkey_on_9.2019__eurofora_screenshot_400 

=> Perhaps, mutatis-mutandis, be Inspired by some well known recen Developments Elsewhere, and, f.ex., ...Ask EUROCORPS (as Turkey now does wih 15.000 Soldiers and/or proxy Islamist Armed Gangs, according to US Defense Chief Mar to impose a "Security Zone", 450 km Long, 32km Wide, inside Turkey, (as Ankara now Claims to do inside Syria's Kurdish Region) ?        

After all, (and Given, particularly, even the Fact that, Already, the previous 2015-2016 Big "Tsunami" of more than 1,5 Millions of such Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, Suddenly coming through Turkey, inside Europe, notoriously Brought also an Awful lot of Bloody ISIS' Islamist Terrorism Brutal Attacks, Cowardly Targetting Civilian People throughout almost all Europe, Obviously provoking Legitimate "Security" Concerns), Why Not ?...

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("DraftNews")


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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

---------------------------------

After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

-------------------

On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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