Avramopoulos: The Schengen Treaty is the greatest achievement of European integration

13 January 2016
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EU Commissioner for Migration and Internal Affairs on Wednesday sent a clear message to member states to differentiate from the European Commission’s official stance on the issue of migration, reiterating his position on the maintenance of the Schengen Treaty.

In an interview with the Belgian television, Avramopoulos stressed that EU worked very hard over the last year to formulate a common migration policy, which did not exist before.

“The Schengen Treaty is the greatest achievement of the European integration,” he noted and expressed his disagreement with the view that the Schengen treaty has never worked. “The ability of free movement in Europe should remain by all means. By going back to national policies and building fences, we underestimate the future of Europe, and both I and the Commission are the guarantors of the treaties. And we will do our best not only to preserve the Schengen area, but also to solve all issues,” he said.

The obligation of the member states is to support the principles and values of the EU, the Commissioner said, reiterating that everyone will be judged by the citizens. “I am very worried by the rise of xenophobia, populism and nationalism. Member states have an enormous responsibility. It is very simple to say you disagree and that you will build fences or that you will exit from the EU. Is this how we will move forward? Of course I am worried about the future of my children, but I would never leave fear prevail,” he underlined.

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