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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" :

imi_greek_people_ask_frontex_to_really_guard_eus_external_borders_demonstration_samos_naftemporiki__ef_screenshot_400 

- "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).

 

imi_samos_popular_demosntrtion_on_frontex_samos24.gr__eurofora_screenshot_400 

=> 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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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

buzek_chairing_400 

    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

busekcoe_400

    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

***


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