Hearing: Dimitris Avramopoulos - Migration and Home Affairs

Dimitris Avramopoulos appeared at the European Parliament for a three-hour long interview. His competences and knowledge were tested today by the relevant parliamentary committee.

Photo Dimitris Avramopoulos

The former Greek defence minister, Dimitris Avramopoulos, appeared before the Parliament's Civil Liberties and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) on Tuesday (30 September). Mr. Avramopoulos stated that he considers the Portfolio of Migration and Home Affairs as a critical political, social, cultural and humanitarian challenge.

Questioned about two of his priorities in the area of migration and home affairs, Mr. Avramopoulos underlined that, beyond establishing a new European approach on legal migration, its priorities would be (1) coping in an efficient manner with the migratory pressure at our borders, and fully respecting fundamental rights, and (2) addressing the multi-faceted challenges in the area of security,  strengthening the integration of fundamental rights into EU internal security policies.

On legal migration, Mr. Avramopoulos proposed to undertake a fitness check of the legal migration legislation in place, with a view to identifying any further possible problems and gaps that remain. He also stressed that his ambition on legal migration is not limited to high-skilled migrants only, referring to shortages in many different areas of the labour market.

On irregular migration, Mr. Avramopoulos noted tackling irregular migration requires respecting fundamental rights but warned against setting up a Fortress Europe, in reference to border control policies that prevent people from entering the EU in the first place. “The answer [to the current challenges] is definitely not Fortress Europe," he told MEPs. "History has proven that fortresses built for the protection from external threats ended up enslaving those they were built to protect”.

On international protection related issues, Mr. Avramopoulos spoke in favour of resettling more refugees from third countries and he backed the idea of allowing people to apply for asylum in EU delegations outside of Europe.

Please find additional information on Dimitris Avramopoulos and on his hearing on the website of the EU Parliament.
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Publication Date: Tue 30 Sep 2014
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