Today the European Commission released its report on the implementation of the priority actions under the European Agenda for Migration for Italy, Greece and the Western Balkans as well a report on the implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan. The commission also took a series of infringement decisions and held discussions on the management of the Schengen Border, ahead of next week’s European Council meeting.
The reports highlighted that, whilst those hotspots that are up and running are helping to improve the situation on the frontline, there still needs to be significant progress made to address the scale of the crisis the EU is facing; and significant action is still required on the part of Turkey to help stabilise the situation.
Conservative Justice and Home Affairs spokesman in the European Parliament, Timothy Kirkhope MEP, said:
“We are seeing some steps in the right direction, especially at hotspot areas, regarding fingerprinting, building detention capacity and carrying out forced returns of failed asylum seekers if necessary.
“EU leaders are waking up to the fact that if we are going to gain control of the crisis there has to be a focus on making the system we already have work better. Now is not the time to start reinventing the wheel, but for EU leaders to put their heads down and deliver results.
“This is not a crisis that can be solved overnight. However we can make steady progress before the next implementation report.
“Implementation will be key to delivering a solution, but it will need a lot more political will, resources, and expertise. Member States have to put their money where their mouth is, and help Member States on the frontline where migrants are arriving. Ultimately it is in their own interest.
“But the reports we have seen today show that when it comes to our relationship with Turkey and other third countries, the EU should be clearer in what it expects. Turkey, along with other countries, must do more to show that they will hold up their end of the bargain.
“The commission needs to be clear in the coming months that the EU will not keep writing cheques without getting real results in return. Any Turkey readmission Agreement cannot go the way of other readmission agreements.”