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Migrants at Turkey’s border with Greece: Von der Leyen, “aid to Greece, but Ankara is not an enemy”. EU leadership, strategy for unaccompanied minors

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, on a visit to the Greek-Turkish border alongside the other leaders of EU institutions and the Greek prime minister (in a picture by SIR/European Commission), listed the concrete measure the EU is taking in a spirit of “solidarity” to make sure that “order is maintained at our borders”: Frontex is preparing the deployment of 100 border guards (in addition to the 530 already present) and additional means to patrol the border by air, land or sea. €700 million is available to Greece: of which, €350 million is immediately available to address the emergency. Furthermore, the Civil Protection Mechanism has been launched which will provide medical equipment and teams, tents, and blankets. The EU will address the crisis with “unity, solidarity and determination”, Von der Leyen assured, stressing that “Turkey is not an enemy”, but “people are not just means to reach a goal”. For the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, these events further show the “need to strengthen our common migration policy, but many governments are still unaware of this”. There are many unaccompanied minors involved, who are particularly vulnerable, for whom a dedicated “strategy” is needed. For the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, the agreement with Turkey is still standing: “We will continue to guarantee its implementation”, he said, “asking that its terms are respected” as well as “human rights and the international law”.

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