Migration crisis update: Greece could probably say goodbye to Schengen really soon

Dimitris Avramopoulos European Commission

Here the EU Commissioner responsible for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship is trying to find the solution to the migration problem while drinking a glass of expensive champagne. Let’s just hope he makes it! The photo was taken during the participation of Commissioner Avramopoulos at the European Dialogue for Skills and Migration that took place yesterday in Brussels. (EC Audiovisual Services, 28/01/2016)

It was two days ago when the European Commission’s draft report revealed “serious deficiencies” of the Greek government to comply with its obligations under the Schengen’s Agreement rules regarding the control of the migrant influx. If these suggestions are voted by the majority of the EU member states, then Greece will be given a 90 days ultimatum to reverse the situation otherwise the rest Schengen countries will introduce temporary border controls.

While all this is happening in Brussels, another tragedy has taken place near the Greek island of Samos with 26 drowned migrants and many more missing when their boat was sank in the Aegean Sea.

The outcome of the informal meeting of the Ministers of Home Affairs, which was held in Amsterdam last Monday, was a forerunner of what would follow. Many Interior Ministers were in favor of tightening border controls even further and also suggested that Athens should be “kicked out” of the Schengen Area since migratory flows were not going down.

It is clear that the migration crisis has pushed the Old Continent to its very limits. The solutions that are proposed and attempted have not yet paid back, obviously. Hence, the EC is putting pressure on the table by promoting a temporary Schengen “Grexit” in order to keep the migrants from overflooding northern Europe.

Interior Ministers in panic

The discussion of the Interior Ministers was needless to say very intense and everyone’s mind was at Schengen’s future. More specifically, Klaas Dijkhoff, the Dutch migration minister, mentioned that the member states are about to ask the EC to extend border controls because the refugees crisis is not slowing down. Furthermore, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, Austrian interior minister walking the same path stressed that: “Schengen is on the brink of collapse.”

The Austrian Minister opposed to the Greek government’s arguments regarding patrolling the borders with Turkey and stated: “Greece has one of the biggest navies in Europe. It’s a myth that the Greek-Turkish border cannot be protected.” The Swedish home affairs minister, Anders Ygeman, also reinforced this statement by saying that: “If a country doesn’t live up to its obligations, we will have to restrict its connections to the Schengen area.”

The European Commission was represented there by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, who attempted once more to urge the member states to act with solidarity and responsibility by crying out that: “It is time for ALL Member States to deliver on ALL commitments made. Unless Member States fully deliver on their promises and respect the rules that are in place, we will not be able to tackle effectively the current challenges. I cannot repeat it enough: The only solution to the refugee crisis is a European one.”

Commission points the finger to Greece

The Commission’s draft report indicates how the Greek authorities are dealing with the control, and particularly the efficiency of the identification and registration process of the migrants. It also refers to the sea border surveillance and cooperation with neighbouring countries and is conducted since last November in the Greek-Turkish land border and mainly the Greek islands of Chios and Samos.

The main conclusions are that “there is no effective identification and registration of irregular migrants and that fingerprints are not being systematically entered into the system and travel documents are not being systematically checked for the authenticity or against crucial security databases, such as SIS, Interpol and national databases.” The latter findings have caused major reactions both by the Greek and the rest of the EU countries.

Isolating Greece is not the solution

On the contrary, the countries which are blaming Greece for not doing the necessary to overcome this daunting situation are further closing their borders and tightening their controls following a nationalistic approach that reminds us all of the good bad times of Europe; an approach that is not in line with the EU ideals.

Even if Greece exits the Schengen Area and border controls are implemented in the rest member states, migrants will find a way to be installed at an economically wealthy EU country, driven mostly by their despair to flee from extreme war conditions. The only thing that a possible Schengen Grexit will cause is to worsen the Greek economy even further and to flood the country with thousands of migrants living in camps trying to find their way out, for a pretty much indefinite period of time.

All in all, it is more than obvious now that if this crisis continues at the same pace, it will lead to dramatic and unprecedented changes in the EU and in Schengen, with countries to be led only by their nationalistic instincts dividing Europe into north and south, prosper and economically weak countries and blocks. Not that this task has not been already performed well.

However, there is still some hope since the EU leaders will convene on February 18-19 to discuss on how to proceed and deal with this long-lasting issue. Finally!

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Basel III rules relaxed: Banks got it all but become more prone to crisis

Gender Equality as a platform to improve Medicine

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

European Youth Forum welcomes the European Commission’s proposed revision of the Union Code on Visas, however it does not go far enough

A Valentine’s Special: heart has nothing to do with it, it’s all Brain

Brexit Update: EU endorses unprecedented compromise to help Cameron out of the referendum mess he got himself into

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

The G7 adopted dangerous views about Ukraine and Greece

More unemployment and lower wages to make European workers competitive?

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

EU to spend €6 billion on youth employment and training futile schemes

ECB to buy corporate bonds: Will government financing be the next step?

Economic recovery won’t tackle youth unemployment problem

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

Fair completion rules and the law of gravity don’t apply to banks

Italy can stand the US rating agencies’ meaningless degrading

The European giant tourism sector in constant growth

A Sting Exclusive: “Our ambition is by 2020 Indonesia to become an emerging power of World’s Maritime Access”, reveals the Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Indonesia in Brussels, treating WEF, ASEAN and EU-Indonesia relations on the eve of the World Economic Forum East Asia 2015 in Jakarta

Why lay people don’t expect anything good from G20

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Russia won’t let Ukraine drift westwards in one piece

Eurozone: Negative statistics bring deflation and recession closer

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

Climate change and health: creating global awareness and using earth resources wisely

Global Citizen – Volunteer Internships

The EU stops being soft with 10 Downing Street about Brexit

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

The European Parliament rewrites the EU budget in a bright day for the Union

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

European Junior Enterprises to address the significant skills mismatch in the EU between school and employment

The Eurogroup offered a cold reception to IMF’s director for Europe

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

Turkey presents a new strategy for EU accession but foreign policy could be the lucky card

The EU cuts roaming charges further while the UK weighs Brexit impact

How will EU look after French, Dutch and German Elections and what will be the implications for Youth Entrepreneurship?

IMF’s Lagarde to Peoples of the world: You have to work more for the banks!

Mental Health: starting with myself

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

Progress in medical research: leading or lagging behind?

iSting: Change Europe with your Writing

19th EU-China Summit: A historical advance in the Chino-European rapprochement

EU-India summit: Will the EU manage to sign a free trade agreement with India before Britain?

Environmental labelling, information and management schemes are central to the circular economy

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

How wealthy people transmit this advantage to their children and grand children

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

Draghi will not hesitate to zero ECB’s basic interest rate

EU Commission – US hasten talks to avoid NGO reactions on free trade agreement

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

SPB TV @ MWC14: The TV of the Future

Eurostat: Real unemployment double than the official rate

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “We need more Schengen but reinforce control!”, France’s Minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron emphasises from Davos

EU is now giving Google new monopolies to the detriment of European citizens and Internet companies

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s