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EU Support for Tacling Immigration

council2(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) At the end of the two-day European Union summit (June 18-19), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis took the opportunity to express satisfaction over the course of the leaders’ deliberations on a series of issues which are important to Greece’s national security.  Regarding the thorny issue of illegal migration, Karamanlis stressed that Greece’s diplomatic demarche to convince the EU over the perplexity of the issue, the ramifications of which go beyond Greece’s reach, have started to bear fruits.  Together with Italy, Spain, Malta and Cyprus, Greece sought the European Union’s support to cope with the rising tide of illegal immigration.  The Council agreed that the European Union shall seek new repatriation agreements with the migrants’ countries of origin and with transit countries such as Turkey and Libya. Existing bilateral repatriation agreements such as the one signed by Greece and Turkey in 2003, should be honoured, EU leaders agreed. According to the summit’s communiqué, the Council decided to reinforce its border monitoring agency Frontex The global economic crisis once again topped the agenda, with deliberations resulting in a number of decisions towards building a new financial supervisory architecture and taking measures to tackle unemployment. Climate change, a matter of increasing importance was also discussed, in view of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference at the end of the year. Finally, Karamanlis welcomed Jose Manuel Barroso’s appointment to serve a second five-year term as president of the European Commission, pointing out that the incumbent president has given Greece valuable support on a number of issues.