Brussels – Meetings on EU Balkan policy, the Macedonian name issue, and a plan to overcome the crisis in the Aegean

6 December 2017
Audio: EPC-Stiftung Mercator project 'Connecting Europe'

ESI's Gerald Knaus went to Brussels for meetings in the European Commission on EU Balkan policy and to present the ESI proposal on how to solve the Macedonian name dispute and a recent ESI paper on the impact of the EU-Turkey statement on migration in the Aegean.

At the European Policy Centre (EPC) Gerald gave a presentation on "A Greek (Tsipras) plan for Europe How to overcome the crisis in the Aegean" moderated by Julian Rappold from the EPC-Stiftung Mercator project 'Connecting Europe':

The situation in the Aegean and on the Greek islands for asylum seekers and migrants is once again dramatic. As winter approaches, vulnerable people are living in tents, social and medical services are inadequate, reception facilities are seriously overcrowded, posing concerns for their security. On the islands tensions are rising, as authorities and citizens warn that their patience is running out.

As more people arrive on the islands, local authorities and NGOs are demanding to move everyone to the mainland immediately - thus suspending implementation of the EU-Turkey statement. At the same time, the Greek Prime Minister, the Minister for migration and the Leader of the main opposition party have all expressed their determination to stick to the EU-Turkey statement.

How can the Greek government and the EU get out of this impasse? Can a new initiative by the Greek government, backed by its European partners, turn the situation around and lay the foundations for resolving the Aegean refugee crisis? Can a Tsipras Plan for the Aegean point the way for how to overcome the current stalemate on the Dublin reform discussions in Brussels?

While in Brussels, Gerald also gave an interview to Nova TV on the Macedonian name dispute:

Nova TV, "План за решавање на спорот со Грција" - TV interview with Gerald Knaus - ("Plan to resolve the dispute with Greece") (9 December 2017)