Would-be commissioner Avramopoulos sets out priorities on migration

Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner-designate for migration and home affairs, on Tuesday sought to set out his priorities for a post regarded as more crucial than ever amid increasing migration flows and international security concerns and, Kathimerini understands, made a relatively good impression.

In a three-hour grilling by members of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee in Brussels, Avramopoulos answered 45 questions aimed at determining whether he has what it takes for the job. His appointment was expected to be confirmed later on Tuesday ahead of a final vote on the new European Commission on October 22.

Avramopoulos, who still holds the post of Greek defense minister, highlighted the need for Europe to assume a unified approach on migration, describing legal migration as “a fence” against illegal immigration.

He called for the role of the EU’s border monitoring agency Frontex to be expanded to include search-and-rescue duties. But he condemned the decision by a previous Greek government to put a fence on the Greek-Turkish land border, a move that fueled people smuggling by sea.

He also stressed the need to boost security in the face of the growing threat of Jihadists.

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