The need to address the migration phenomenon with decisive and coordinated European action underlined the Commissioner for Immigration, Citizenship and Internal Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos. Addressing the First European Forum for Migration, the Greek Commissioner stressed the importance of civil society in addressing the challenges of the large-scale phenomenon, while he explained that the European Union has already taken important measures to tackle trafficking, resulting in the arrest of numerous traffickers. At the same time, training campaigns launched in many migrants’ origin countries have already been proved fruitful.
Although, as Avramopoulos added, given the flexibility characterizing the traffickers, the existing actions should be enriched and cooperation between the European Union member-states and the countries of origin or transit of migrants should be the cornerstone of the Commission’s strategy. In addition, the European Commissioner mentioned the urgent need to implement the Common European Asylum System and the need to create a true European program for resettling refugees. Furthermore, he urged Forum participants to encourage member-states to assume their responsibilities.
“The member-states should understand that refugees are not a burden. Conversely, if the integration process is successful and if their access to employment is facilitated and encouraged, they can be an important resource for the host country,” Avramopoulos highlighted, adding that the refugees addressing for asylum in the European Union member-states should be fully integrated in European society. In this context, the European Commission will continue to assist countries in integration policies.
Concluding, Avramopoulos announced that the Commission will adopt a comprehensive approach to the issue aiming at strengthening the European borders with respect to migrant’s rights, a more efficient management of illegal migration flows, the creation of legal channels and integration policy.
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