Commissioner-designate Avramopoulos to face 3 hour interview on EU’s migration portfolio

Greek Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU commissioner-designate for migration and home affairs, will be heard by the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee (LIBE) in Strasbourg on Tuesday.

The commissioner-designate will have three hours to answer 45 questions testing his competences and knowledge on the issues at hand, and to convince the panel that he is up to the challenge of managing one of the EU’s thorniest portfolios.

The migration and home affairs portfolio is considered among the most politically sensitive and legally challenging, according to Claude Moraes, chairman of the committee.

Speaking to Kathimerini, Moraes said that the committee will question Avramopoulos with the particular aim of ascertaining whether he will be “able to leave his national identity at the door of the European Commission,” given that migration is one of Greece’s biggest challenges, second only to the economic crisis.

“The challenge in front of us is not a technocratic endeavor,” Avramopoulos said in his written responses to the European Parliament’s questionnaire ahead of the interview. “It is above all, a political undertaking that needs effective international cooperation, strategic planning, coalition building and solidarity.

“We need above all a preventive strategy on migration and Home Affairs that will limit the cost of curative measures,” Avramopoulos said. “We also need an extensive vision on migration, security and rights that will involve close cooperation with the European Parliament.”