European Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said in an interview published on Saturday that it was high time that governments of European Union member-states stopped bickering and started working together and exchanging intelligence to fight the battle against terrorism which, he said, will take years to win.
Speaking to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the former Greek minister said EU governments must learn to trust each other more and that “effectively sharing information is the key to fighting terrorism.” Police officers, he said, must have the right information at the right time.
Avramopoulos dismissed the trend of equating migrants and refugees with terrorists. “It is wrong and it is not a sign of prudence to confuse terrorists with migrants,” he said, adding that there have been very few cases of migrants participating in terrorist attacks. “Most of the terrorists grew up in our countries, attended our schools. We need to understand why they are striking, and how to integrate them better,” he told the paper.
He insisted that it was imperative for host countries to give migrants and refugees more opportunities so that they can feel more integrated. “We need to show them respect and understanding of their culture,” he said. To do this, he added, new policies are needed at the national and European levels.