The new European Commission has had its first full 27-member team working meeting. Euronews accompanied Sweden’s representative in the European Union executive body: Cecilia Malmstrom, who is responsible for the bloc’s Home Affairs portfolio.
Managing Europe’s boundaries humanely with the practical realities high in mind figured early on the communal agenda… Malmstrom referred to the EU’s external border control agency:
“We have evaluated Frontex, how it works, we will strengthen it, we will increase the coordination capacities and make it a better tool in order to work with the Member States on handling irregular immigration but also on making sure that the rule of law and the principle of “non-refoulement” is respected on the Mediterranean.”
The former psychiatric nurse and later literature graduate who earned a doctorate in political science would go on to accrue extensive experience in EU home affairs, as a former national minister in that field, and an MEP.
She is currently involved in smoothing transatlantic ruffles following the European Parliament’s rejection of the SWIFT bank data sharing deal, and trying to bring EU relations with the Swiss and Libya into trim.
“This week has been a storm from the beginning, and last week as well. On Libya, there are lots of talks going on at different levels; we don’t play those blame games. Others might do that, the Commission never does. We have to solve it, and Switzerland is part of the Schengen community so this affects the European Union, and we have to try to find a solution.”
A meeting is on the cards with members of the Schengen group to decide a response to Libya’s unilateral and unexplained halt to issuing entry visas to the 25 European nations in the Schengen visa-free zone, a move which Brussels on Tuesday called deplorable.