Our debate today is very timely and I would like to thank once again this House for its continuous active interest and support in our joint fight against this odious phenomenon. We will agree in this room that when dealing with trafficking in human beings what really counts is actions and results, more than intentions and words.
I know many of you well from the excellent cooperation we established since 2015 in the EU Internet Forum. It is a pleasure to be here today in larger company. You have created platforms that changed our world forever.
This is an important event, and I wish to thank Marianne for the excellent cooperation that we have on this important issue. You know as well as I do, that it is not easy to talk about integration these days.
The refugee crisis in Europe may be subsiding, but migration globally will not stop. Today, on International Migrants Day, more than 244 million people are living outside their country of birth. Human mobility will increasingly define the 21st century. If we want to be ready for it, we need to start preparing now.
Dimitris Avramopoulos was meant to handle one of the biggest humanitarian challenges in the European Union’s history: the refugee crisis. Well-respected in EU circles, Avramopoulos assumed his tenure in the European Commission in a period while the union’s cohesion had been intensively tested by the refugee crisis and terrorist threat, with both issues raising questions about EU border protection.
Let me start by highlighting the following: no matter how much work we collectively do –the 3 Institutions – in the end we will be judged by our success –or failure- only on 3 or 4 topics. Schengen is one of them. For our citizens, it is the symbol of the European Union itself. It is the most tangible example of European integration.
We are working in a difficult context – as you are all aware of. An inclusive political transition, along with the stabilisation and economic consolidation of Libya, remains a key prerequisite for addressing migration–related challenges in Libya in a sustainable way.
The paper prepared by President Tusk is unacceptable. It is anti-European and it denies, it ignores all the work done during the past 3 years.
It's almost a year since the tragic Berlin Christmas market attack, which left 12 people dead and 56 injured. The attacker used 14 different identities to evade law enforcement authorities and was flagged in our systems with different names. The same problem of multiple and false identities was observed in the Marseille stabbing attack in October.
Let me start by saying thank you to the Estonian Presidency and more specifically to Interior Minister Andres Anvelt for our constructive discussions today and for the Presidency's unrelenting efforts over the last 6 months. Earlier today, we proposed to the Heads of States and Government a detailed roadmap that includes key actions on all elements for a comprehensive and future-proof migration policy.
I'd like today to express my thanks and my congratulations to the President of JHA Council, a good friend, the Minister of Interior of Estonia,. Today I will debrief the ministers on the outcome of the yesterday's third internet forum that took place here in Brussels with the participation of the major internet providers, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft.
Da'esh may have lost its territorial centre of gravity, Raqqa – but on the internet it is still present. It is a presence which is clandestine and infectious, spreading from bogus social media accounts, from one platform to another, with a message of hate, a nihilist interpretation of Islam and detailed instructions on how to kill innocent citizens.
I call on all our stakeholders and partners to join forces and work together more closely so we don't have to witness anymore in the 21st century something which belongs in the dark past of the humanity.