Extracts from the press conference by Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC, on the state of play of temporary internal Schengen borders controls and on visa reciprocity
Type: Press conference - summary
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 2 May 2017, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, gave a press conference in Brussels on the state of play of temporary internal Schengen borders controls, following the publication of the 3rd Report from the EC to the EP, the European Council and the Council on the operationalisation of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). The European Commission recommended notably that Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway phased out the temporary controls in place at some of their internal Schengen borders over the following six months. This Report also defined the EC's position following the EP's non-legislative Resolution of 2 March 2017 which called on the European Commission to adopt a delegated act to suspend the visa waiver for Canadian and American nationals. This video shows extracts from the press conference.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and Natasha Bertaud, Coordinating Spokesperson of the EC for the Activities of the President of the EC and Policies of the First Vice-President, Spokesperson for Better Regulation, Inter-institutional Affairs, Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, in the press room
||SOUNDBITE by Dimitris Avramopoulos (in ENGLISH): The time has come to take the last concrete steps to gradually return, as we have repeatedly said many times before, to a normal functioning of the Schengen Area. This is our goal, and it remains unchanged. A fully functioning area, free from internal border controls.
||Cutaway of two men filming the press conference with their smartphones
||SOUNDBITE by Dimitris Avramopoulos (in ENGLISH): Relocations and returns from Greece and other Member States must be significantly stepped up and Dublin rules need to gradually fully apply. What we propose today is to gradually phase out temporary internal border controls whilst at the same time strengthening the use of proportionate police checks across the territory of the Member States, and especially close to the internal borders areas.
||Cutaway of a man working on his laptop
||SOUNDBITE by Dimitris Avramopoulos (in ENGLISH): Our aim is to ensure a coordinated and gradual transition phase. The alternative could have been uncoordinated and unilateral decisions to introduce temporary controls. And this is not in the European spirit of solidarity and cooperation.
||Cutaway of journalists
||SOUNDBITE by Dimitris Avramopoulos (in ENGLISH): We have to intensify our efforts to protect our external borders. The operationalisation of the European Borders and Coast Guard has continuously progressed since March, and the Agency is currently supporting Member States with an average of 1,500 border guards at different sections of the EU external border.
||Cutaway of journalists
||SOUNDBITE by Dimitris Avramopoulos (in ENGLISH): As of yesterday, a considerable number of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens can travel visa-free to Canada. This is excellent news, which comes as a direct result of our sustained diplomatic efforts so far with Canada. It also strongly suggests that this is the way forward for the other pending case of non-reciprocity – the United States.