Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s migration commissioner, warned Greece it has until May to improve protection of its external borders from refugees making their way into Europe.
“If we do not see any progress by May 12, we will not hesitate to create conditions in which border controls within Europe can be extended,” Avramopoulos told Die Welt in an interview published Friday.
A European Commission assessment on January 27 found that Greece had “serious deficiencies” in ensuring migrants arriving from Turkey and across the Aegean Sea were properly registered.
On Friday the Commission will present a new roadmap aimed at speeding up implementation of an EU border and coast guard service, as well as other measures related to bolstering the Schengen agreement on free movement.
“By November all border controls within the Schengen zone will have to be lifted. All countries will have to stick to the rules,” Avramopoulos said.
A prerequisite to lifting the controls is that Europe’s outside borders are effectively protected and that every refugee who enters Europe is properly checked and registered. According to Avramopoulos, Greece is only meeting 80 percent of this goal.
When asked if Greece is to blame for the escalation of the refugee crisis, by not asking soon enough for European help, Avramopoulos said that the Greek government mainly “concentrated on the euro crisis” in the past year. “Now we see progress, four of the five hotspots are operational,” he added, referring to centers where refugees are screened and fingerprinted.
Meanwhile, several EU countries took measures to stop the influx of refugees, with border controls and temporary fences. Austria decided on a daily limit of the migrants that are allowed entry into the country.
Avramopoulos said that “EU member states will have to start living up to their promises [when it comes to taking up refugees from the EU relocation scheme]. The EU summit next week is of enormous importance.”
EU leaders meet with Turkey in Brussels on Monday to discuss proposals to come up with a solution for the migration crisis.
Click Here: habitat tord boontje