The European Union refused to fund border fencing between Greece and Turkey prior to both the current border crisis and the 2015-16 border crisis, denouncing it as “pointless”.
“We are against building walls,” declared the then-European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs, and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, in 2018 — a time when many European Union figures and EU member-state politicians, outside of pro-borders Central European countries such as Poland and Hungary, were at pains to signal their opposition to the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump.
“The EU will never be a fortress. Migration will stay not only in Europe and the world for the decades to come,” insisted Avramopoulos — who, perhaps surprisingly, is himself a Greek politician from the right-leaning New Democracy party, then in opposition but now in office and attempting to hold the line against illegal immigration fairly vigorously.
The eurocrat — as the EU’s unelected officials are colloquially known — was also a strong backer of the UN Global Compact for Migration, an EU resettlement programme importing tens of thousands of migrants direct from Africa, and the EU-Turkey deal which saw the bloc transfer billions of euros to Ankara in order to persuade it to stem the flow of illegal migrants across the Graeco-Turkish frontier.
His assurances that the deal “delivers” and “is beneficial for the European Union and Turkey as well” have unravelled now that the Islamist president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has cancelled it unilaterally, announcing that the gates to Europe through his country are now open and actively transporting migrants to the border in large numbers.
— Derek Gatopoulos (@dgatopoulos) May 16, 2018
The EU also refused to fund border fencing between Greece and Turkey prior to the 2015-16 migrant crisis, when hundreds of thousands of migrants poured into the recession-stricken EU border state in a matter of months by sea and land.
“Fences and walls are short-term solutions to measures that do not solve the problem. The EU is not and will not co-finance this fence… It is pointless,” a spokesman for the then-European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom, told the press in 2012.
Pro-mass migration NGOs, however, revealedin 2018 that their fear was that a border wall could work too well, with the Brussels-based chief of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Allen Leas, fretting: “It would be a tragedy if this actually worked, as it would prevent refugees from seeking protection and this would constitute a violation of their human rights.”
The EU says it won't help Greece finance a 10km- fence along its border w Turkey to keep out illegal immigrants because it is "pointless".
— WSJ Central Banks (@WSJCentralBanks) February 7, 2012