In this context, the new Hungarian legislation and the way Hungary is protecting the external borders was also part of the discussion that we had today with the Ministers. In a very friendly spirit of positive cooperation, we decided to work together through our experts and ensure that EU rules also are complied with.
I have said recently: no more excuses, and I have repeated that again today. There should be no more talk about relocation, but delivery. With spring approaching, there is no time to waste. We have to reach 3000 relocations per month from Greece and 1500 from Italy.
Reciprocity is a cornerstone of EU visa policy, and we are committed to continue working in a constructive and positive spirit, in close coordination between us, and the United States, to achieve this goal as soon as possible, including searching for mutually acceptable interim steps.
First of all let me take this opportunity to thank Fabrice Leggeri for his hospitality and, of course, for the excellent work he has accomplished together with his great team. As you know, the ongoing migratory challenge has kept all of us: Member States, Commission, EU Agencies on our toes in the last two years.
I would first like to thank Minister Minniti, for organising this very timely and much needed conference on the Central Mediterranean Migration Route. The challenges that we face are not European or North African – they are global and shared.
The refugee crisis in 2015 and early 2016 posed an unprecedented challenge for Europe. A strong, common and coordinated response by the European Union was needed: a comprehensive response aimed at putting an end to uncontrolled migration flows, while protecting the rights of migrants and refugees in full compliance with EU and international law and making sure that no Member State was left alone to shoulder the migratory pressure.
We remember and honour those that died unnecessarily. Innocent citizens. We remember and recognise the suffering of their families, and the survivors of the attacks. They have to live forever with the memory of the atrocities. Terrorism is a brutality. An act of inhumanity and callousness.
The use of illicit drugs continues to be a considerable challenge in many of our societies, affecting, directly and indirectly, the lives of millions of people in Europe and all over the world.
Over the last 18 months, we have managed to build a relationship of trust and mutual understanding with the major internet companies. I am pleased with the progress we are making. I welcome the voluntary initiative of the industry to set up a mechanism to remove terrorist content from the internet. Today, a prototype of this mechanism is in action.
Today we find ourselves at a historical moment, ahead of deep global changes, where the prosperity and stability of important democracies are at stake, fuelled by the rise of xenophobia, populism and nationalism. And yet, the stability and prosperity of democracies is the result of international and transatlantic relations and cooperation – not isolationist actions.
Sixty years ago, equality between women and men was embedded in the Rome Treaty as one of the European Union's fundamental values.At that time, Europe's commitment to the principle of equal pay for equal work was unique in the world. Since then, the EU has continued to lead and has made visible progress on all fronts.