The Slovenia Times

Migration commissioner criticises use of army ahead of Slovenia visit


"We do not have in front of us enemies...armed forces are not a solution, they give the wrong impression. We are not threatened by these people," the news portal Politico quoted Avramopoulos as saying on Wednesday at the annual congress of the European People's party (EPP) in Madrid.

The commissioner also launched an attack on Europe's national governments for failing to manage the refugee crisis, saying he was "very much disappointed" with the actions of the member states and that the EU was witnessing "re-nationalisation".

The comments come just as Avramopoulos is coming to Slovenia today to discuss the refugee crisis with Prime Minister Miro Cerar, Interior Minister Vesna Györkös Žnidar and Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec.

Slovenia has been coping with the growing influx of refugees coming from Croatia with difficulties and the government has opted to deploy the army on the border with Croatia to help police officers deal with the situation.

Legislative changes allowing for the deployment were passed in parliament on Tuesday, but can enter into force in a week at the latest. The government said that the army would be used if necessary and for the maximum of three months. The army deployment however requires approval from parliament.

The European Commission meanwhile said in a statement that EU member states had the right to determine what means they use at borders, adding that it understood that a possible use of the army would only be to help with distributing aid to refugees and making sure there was no outbreak of violence.

According to spokesperson Mina Andreeva, there is no contradiction between Avramopoulos's statement and the official position of the European Commission.

"We would not want the use of violence but it's very much the possibility within the EU law to deploy the army and police forces, it does not mean they are deployed to use violence."


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