Greek Foreign Minister calls for speedy establishment of European Asylum Support Office, strengthening of Frontex, and permanent joint operations
Excerpts of Speech by Greek Foreign Minister Ms. Bakoyannis at a dinner hosted by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic on the occasion of the conclusion of the Czech EU Presidency (17/6/09):
“[***] Permit me to pause for a moment on this issue [of illegal immigration] which is of particular importance to Greece. As resident Ambassadors, I am sure that you can bear testimony to the increasing and disproportionate migratory pressure Greece is facing due to its geographic position at the external border of the EU; its extensive land and sea borders and its proximity to countries of both origin and transit of illegal immigration.
“One thing is clear: Genuine solidarity and fair burden sharing between Member States is urgently needed in order to effectively tackle this common European challenge. Our strategy should pull several different levers including enhanced practical cooperation through the establishment the earliest possible of the European Asylum Support Office, strengthening FRONTEX and conducting joint operations on a permanent basis, concluding EU readmission Agreements with key countries including of course our southern neighbor Turkey. [***]”
Click here for partial text of speech.