BRUSSELS – President of the European Parliament David Sassoli on Tuesday said it is very important that European officials and the Greek government came to Evros together, and underlined the need for a unified, European long-term strategy on migration, following his visit at the Greek-Turkish border to inspect migration flows from Turkey.
He expressed his concern that several EU members may not realize how urgent the need is to reform migration policy. “If a year and a half ago we had heard the European Parliament and had proceeded to reform the Dublin II treaty, we would probably not be facing these conditions today,” he explained.
“It is Europe that has to implement a migration policy, to share the burden of migration, to redistribute it equally,” he pointed out, and continued to say that this “has to be unified policy, otherwise it cannot guarantee established values and rights.”
He stressed that the joint presence of European officials at the Evros border is “a call to Europe to address decisively the possibility of drawing up a common immigration policy.”
The European Parliament president also stressed that Turkey needs to hear that “we want to negotiate, to discuss things, but it must respect agreements,” and raised the issue of unaccompanied children as a critical one that needs to be addressed as well.