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European Commission - Press release

President Juncker appoints EU Coordinator to organise operational implementation in Greece

Brussels, 18 March 2016

President Juncker appoints EU Coordinator to organise operational implementation in Greece

President Juncker has today appointed Maarten Verwey to act as the EU Coordinator to implement the EU-Turkey statement. This follows the agreement by Heads of State or Government meeting in the European Council today that "the Commission will coordinate and organise together with Member States and Agencies the necessary support structures to implement it effectively."

Following the agreement reached today between the European Union and Turkey to return all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into the Greek islands as from 20 March 2016, EU Member States agreed to provide Greece at short notice with the necessary means, including border guards, asylum experts and interpreters.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "We agreed today that the Commission will appoint an EU Coordinator on the ground to make the plan operational. I have decided that this will be Maarten Verwey, the Director General of the Structural Reforms Support Service who already is in Greece helping on a daily basis with the management of the refugee crisis. He will organise the work and coordinate the dispatching of the 4,000 staff that will be needed from Greece, Member States, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and FRONTEX. We need case workers, interpreters, judges, return officers and security officers."

Maarten Verwey is the Director-General of the European Commission's Structural Reform Support Service. He leads a team which has already been on the ground in Greece since October 2015, working hand in hand with the Greek authorities to address the refugee crisis, by accelerating access to emergency funding, improving the coordination between the various actors, addressing administrative bottlenecks and facilitating knowledge sharing on border management and relocation.

Maarten Verwey was formerly Deputy Director-General for the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECIFN) before being appointed by President Juncker in July 2015 as Director-General of the Structural Reform Support Service, a service providing technical assistance for Member States to assist them in implementing growth-enhancing administrative and structural reforms.


17-18 March European Council conclusions

EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council: Next operational steps in EU-Turkey cooperation in the field of migration

EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan

FACTSHEET: EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan - Implementation report



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