Migration remains a politically toxic topic in the European Union in recent years. Euronews spoke with outgoing EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos who warns that “Europe should never become a fortress”.
“The very first time this term was used was in the year 1933 by Hitler. We don’t want this kind of Europe, but at the same time, we have to protect our borders.”
But the division between EU countries is clear. Some call for a reform of the Dublin system – the EU’s asylum scheme whereby an asylum request must be made in the first country entered.
“I want to make reference to our efforts to adopt the so-called new Dublin which is very important. I want to be frank with you. I was very much disappointed with the stance of some governments. Some believe it is a distance issue, it has to do with Southern Europe. No, it is not the case. What we try to do is adopt a strategy for all Europe.”
Euronews asked the Commissioner about the latest threats from Turkish President Erdogan to allow Syrian refugees to enter Europe, against the conditions of the EU-Turkey deal.
“The EU-Turkey statement should remain alive. This cooperation should stay there and deepen even more in the future….But on the other hand, this cooperation in my eyes should not be used as a tool of pressure”.