BRUSSELS – Europe needs to be kept safe and secure without becoming a “fortress,” Greek Commissioner-Designate Dimitris Avramopoulos told the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament during confirmation hearings.
Avramopoulos, who is being considered for the portfolio of Migration and Home, responded to questions by giving his priorities as commissioner and a review of his experience in governance.
His two main priorities as commissioner would be to “cope in an efficient manner with the migratory pressure at our borders, and fully respecting fundamental rights” and address challenges in security.
“We need to keep Europe safe and secure,” he said, adding, “This must be achieved in full respect of fundamental rights, in compliance with the Schengen rules that allow people to travel without internal border controls, and without building a ‘Fortress Europe’.”
His guiding principle, he noted, would be respect for human rights. He was also concerned he said with ensuring that the “substantial body of new legislation in the migration and home affairs fields” would be completely and consistently implemented acrosss the whole of Europe.
Avramopoulos has served as Mayor of Athens (two consecutive terms) and held several ministerial portfolios in his career, including those of tourism, health and social solidarity, foreign affairs and national defence.