European Commissioner urged to open European borders for migrants

Published reports of how the Coast Guard is driving off illegal migrants at the border with Greece in the Aegean Sea and also in Croatia should be thoroughly investigated, EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ilva Johansson said Thursday.

The Commissioner referred to reports from several European media outlets about the repression of illegal migrants by government officials in Greece, Croatia and Romania. Greece has categorically denied the accusations.

See my statement following EU High-level Forum on providing protection to Afghans at risk.

During the Q&A I also addressed recent reports of pushbacks and violence at the EU external border.

Watch here; #Afghanistan

– Ylva Johansson (@YlvaJohansson) October 7, 2021

The Commissioner answered a related question during a press conference on an online forum about migrants from Afghanistan.

EU Commissioner Johansson called the violent response report “shocking” and said it was “inciting violence on our external borders” and “compelling evidence of misuse of EU funds.” She also reiterated the importance of Greece establishing an independent border control mechanism, which Athens strongly rejected, as we reported earlier.

Johansson added that she will discuss the issue further at a meeting with Greek Refugee and Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis later on Thursday. At the same time, in a separate statement released earlier Thursday, Mitarakis categorically denied all charges. “The Greek borders are also the borders of the EU, and we are acting within the framework of international and European law to protect them,” he stressed.

Illegal sea crossings are highly dangerous and they should be prevented in accordance with the 2016 Joint Statement, which the EU needs to ensure is properly enforced. Europe remains the target of criminal gangs who are exploiting people who wish to enter the EU illegally.

– Νότης Μηταράκης – Notis Mitarachi (@nmitarakis) October 7, 2021

According to an investigation report by ten European media outlets, including Germany’s Der Spiegel, Greek coastguard officers were involved in illegal repression in the Aegean Sea, as well as the involvement of government officials in similar actions in Croatia and Romania.

3 / In Romania, remote camera technology was deployed to capture footage of people being pushed back to Serbia by police. The videos were supported by testimony from individuals summarily expelled who also reported serious assaults during the same incidents.

– Giorgos Christides (@g_christides) October 6, 2021

Report on kickbacks in Greece, Croatia, Romania: here in German DER SPIEGEL, here on English language

PS This is not the first time reporters have investigated and reported illegal actions of the border guard in the Aegean Seaand not the first time the EU is “concerned,” and not the first time Greece has firmly denied the allegations.

Only one thing is not clear, but why does the European Union need borders? Madame Commissioner did not ask, by any chance, this question? And if there are borders (and they are, even if Mrs. Johansson does not want it), then there is a law that stipulates the rules for crossing them. Therefore, in fact, Mrs. Commissioner proposes to ignore these laws? Maybe it’s time for the relevant law enforcement agencies to engage in its activities?

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