The last few years have brought the European Union and the Western Balkans closer together, deepening longstanding ties and relationships across our European continent. The challenges we face when it comes to: migration, fighting migrant smuggling, border management, counter terrorism and tackling organised crime are common and so is our response.
Ήρθα εδώ πριν από πέντε χρόνια ως φιλοευρωπαίος Έλληνας πολιτικός και επιστρέφω ως ένας αφοσιωμένος, ενεργός πολιτικός της Ευρώπης, αλλά πάνω από όλα ως ένας πεπεισμένος Ευρωπαίος πολίτης.
This Commission made security a priority from day one. The European Agenda on Security, which I presented in 2015, has been our guiding principle and we have been working the past years to build an effective and genuine Security Union,” Avramopoulos told New Europe during an extensive conversation about the bloc’s approach towards collective protective measures.
This Commission made security a priority from day one. The European Agenda on Security, which I presented to you in 2015, has been our guiding principle and, together with Julian, we have been working to build an effective and genuine Security Union. This Commission has taken the lead on security, something that was inconceivable some years ago. Security has always been considered as matter of national competence.
This is a great moment for Croatia, after I confirmed yesterday that Croatia has taken the measures needed to meet the conditions necessary to apply the Schengen rules in full.
The Schengen area is the largest free travel area in the world and it is one of the biggest achievements of European integration, one that benefits citizens very directly and very concretely.This is an area that comes with freedoms and privileges, but also with great responsibilities. Joining this club is not something that we take lightly. But we do approach it honestly and fairly.
Aviation security is a silver thread connecting our work on counter-terrorism, on border management, on radicalisation, on information systems, on security research, and elsewhere.
Hotspots have been established as an operational model to quickly and efficiently respond in locations under pressure. More than 2300 officers are deployed from the European Border and Coast Guard, the European Asylum Support Office and Europol combined, at land and at sea in Member States under pressure.
From the very first moment, our vision for the future of this important Agency was, and remains, to become in the coming years a genuine European Police Academy. Security remains a key challenge for Europe and among the number one priorities for the EU. The Security Union we are building is about building trust, sharing resources, sharing information and facing threats together.
We are here today to mark an important achievement in our cooperation with Albania. I am very pleased to be here with Minister of the Interior Sandër Lleshaj.
It is no understatement to say that both security and migration have continuously been at the top of our European and global political agendas over the past 5 years. The migration crisis coincided with several terrorist attacks on European soil. Both phenomena have put into question Europe's unity and fundamental principles.
An important day, will say goodbye to all my colleagues here and I can tell you that I have been working very closely with them for the last 5 years and that we have delivered.
Today, we are further strengthening our border cooperation with Montenegro, taking yet one more step towards bringing the Western Balkan region closer to the EU. The migratory and security challenges we face are common and our response must be joint too.