Greek Foreign Minister: Strengthen European Defence Policy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Speaking shortly after the European Union’s General Affairs and External Affairs Council (GAERC) (December 8-9) in Brussels on Monday, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed the need for strengthening the European Security and Defence Policy, as well as respect for the EU’s autonomy regarding the adoption of decisions. “The continuous strengthening of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), both political and operational, has always been Greece’s steadfast option and pursuit.” the minister said. She added that the fundamental principle of autonomy in the EU’s decision-making, on which it can and must boost its cooperation with the Atlantic Alliance, must be respected. Asked about Greece’s participation in operations against pirates in Somalia, Bakoyannis said that being a big maritime force it was impossible for Greece not to be a part of an effort by the international community to combat piracy. Topping the agenda of the meeting were the handling of the economic and monetary crisis and achieving an agreement on energy and climate, the main points of which were examined by the GAERC. Other issues included the EULEX in Kosovo, being launched today, developments on the interim agreement between the EU and Serbia as well as the situation in the Middle East and in Congo. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: European Policies- ESPD; Council of the European Union: The European Security and Defence Policy (ESPD)