Commissioner Avramopoulos: EU – Turkey migration agreement must continue to function

The agreement on migration signed between the European Union and Turkey must continue to function, EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Saturday, adding it would be “disastrous” if it fell through.

He was speaking at the 5th Thessaloniki International Symposium held at “Olympion”, on the topic “Europe in crisis: Refugees, Brexit, Grexit and all that”.

Avramopoulos said the deal must be respected and implemented, as it has significantly lowered the flows of refugees to Europe, but noted the need for better management of the situation through a more functional asylum system on the islands.

He also said it is necessary to improve coordination and cooperation concerning the protection of the EU’s outer borders, which is why the creation of the European coast and border guard is a “historic accomplishment”.

The symposium is organized by the Northern Greece Entrepreneurs Cultural Society, the Navarino Network and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.