Timmermans assesses EU migration roadmap while demonstrations on Catalan independence surround the Berlaymont

New Europe / Alexandros Michailidis

Read-out of the College meeting by First Vice-President of European Commission in charge of Better regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights Frans Timmermans in Brussels, Belgium on Jul. 26, 2017

Timmermans assesses EU migration roadmap while demonstrations on Catalan independence surround the Berlaymont


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The first vice-president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, passed through the demonstration for the Catalan Independence to for to work on Thursday, joking that he does not go to work “by helicopter.

According to what the First Vice-president witnessed, the protesters created a very positive atmosphere and seem determined. Citizens can go out to the streets to express themselves, “we should always be interested”, he said. “All citizens have the right to organize to express an ambition, a political desire for change, ” added Timmermans, warning that no one can hide behind a vote or a democratic cause to bypass the law. “If you do not agree with her, you can organize to change the law and the constitution,” he said, as the former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont refuses to return to Spain.

“What is not permissible in a State of law is simply to ignore the law , use a democratic vote – I do not go into details about whether the vote is or not – to say that because of democracy the law will be ignored . This in a state of law does not work, “he added. Accepting this logic could be far from dangerous according to Timmermans, as “if we accept the reasoning that ‘I have the majority and I am the one who says what the law means’, without respecting it and using it against those who do not agree with you, they will be able to use it against you and your law once have the majority, “he said, before entering to the migration portfolio.

Timmermans assesses EU Commission’s ‘future-proof migration management’

Timmermans suggested on Thursday that the time of temporary solutions for migratory flows to the EU is over as the EU member states must make decisions about a structural asylum policy. “Migration remains a permanent element of life,” he said. “We can not escape the reform of the current common asylum system.”

Ahead of the 14 December EU Summit, the First Vice-President of the European Commission presented a ‘political step-by-step plan’, consisting of a ‘comprehensive’ approach to migratory flows. “There are currently 23 legislative proposals, of which 15 have been approved. More speed needs to be made. Without all the building blocks, the house collapses,” said Timmermans, expecting the EU heads off state and government to acknowledge the urgency.

The Communication adopted by the College of the Commissioners via written procedure, progress has been achieved by the European Parliament, Council and the Commission on the internal and external dimensions of migration policy. In view of the EU institutions’ joint commitment to go back to Schengen by summer 2018 and to move to a system ensuring resilience to future crises, the EU executive invites the EU leaders to intensify work on the reform of the Common European Asylum System so that the EU-Asylum Agency and the Eurodac proposals are adopted by March 2018.

The EU executive urges for a political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the Qualification Regulation is reached by end of March 2018, a political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the Reception Conditions Directive and the Union Resettlement Framework is reached by May 2018 and a negotiating mandate on the Asylum Procedures Regulation is reached in the European Parliament and the Council by May 2018.

The European Council of June is expected to ratify the political agreement that should be reached on the overall reform of the Common European Asylum System, along with the completion of an effective external border management system, requiring for the member states to continue pledging assets and staff needed for the rapid reaction pools of the European Border and Coast Guard so that they stand fully ready for deployment by March 2018.

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