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.
I feel proud that during my mandate as Commissioner, not only have we established this Forum, but it has developed into a dynamic platform for exchanges, which has led to concrete actions and results against terrorism and violent extremism online.
This event is very timely. You - the Member States’ law enforcement authorities - are at the very cutting edge of our work to face the security challenges of the day and to protect our citizens.
I think it is extremely important that we have such opportunities to gather together and share ideas about fostering more efficient synergies between the public and private sectors in the common interest of our citizens and of our common house, Europe.
Since its inception ten years ago, this Forum has produced a tremendous amount of useful guidance and best practices, and has been instrumental in facilitating bottom-up global approaches to countering terrorism and violent extremism worldwide.
We all agree that the current ad-hoc approach consisting of the Commission coordinating solidarity efforts each time a vessel with migrants is at sea is simply not sustainable. Today we have made good progress towards a predictable and structural set of arrangements.
I am very glad that this debate has been scheduled because there is no better time to discuss the importance of our collective history in order to build our shared future. In the run-up to and in the aftermath of the European elections, there has been a lot of debate about what the European Union is, and what this concept means to our citizens.
LIBE has a crucial role to play in completing a truly European strategy to face the migration and security challenges that can only be effectively addressed through a joint European effort. A lot has been achieved in the last five years with the help of the Parliament and in particular this dynamic Committee.
We are not where we were five years ago, which proves that we delivered; the flow of migrants has gone down, our borders are better protected. We have set up new systems and we have beefed up the existing agencies like Europol and Frontex.
We are at the eve of new beginnings, following the European elections, which have demonstrated our citizens’ engagement and trust in the European project. The doom thinkers wish to point to the rise of the far right, to the splintering of political groups. But we have to see the big picture.
We welcome that a solution for the persons on board of the Ocean Viking has been found and that they will all be relocated following their disembarkation.
We gather here in a place and country, located geopolitically, historically and culturally at the crossroads of east and west, north and south. Modern Turkey is not only a land and sea-bridge linking south-eastern-most Europe with south-western-most Asia.