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Diplomacy on Migration

Greek PM: Address at EPP Group Study
STUDY-DAYS(1)(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) 
The government’s priorities are to accelerate reforms and tackle illegal immigration, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis said on June 29, in his opening address to the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) Group Study Days taking place in Athens.  The premier also referred to the worsening problem of illegal migration, pointing out that Greece was currently shouldering a large portion of the burden that is actually shared by all of Europe, since illegal migrants eventually make their way into other EU countries. “Active solidarity and a fair distribution of the burden are needed,” he stressed, adding that the issue was a top priority for Athens. He also pointed to the progress made in setting up a European coast guard, adding that joint European exercises had taken place in the framework of EU’s FRONTEX agency.
Visit to Migrant Centres
oast1European Commission Vice-president Jacques Barrot, responsible for justice, freedom and security, who is in Athens to attend the EPP meeting, paid a visit on June 29 to reception facilities for illegal migrants on the eastern Aegean island of Samos, accompanied by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos. In statements afterwards, he acknowledged that Greek  authorities faced a difficult task but also stressed Greece’s obligation to provide refuge for migrants arriving on its shores.  Barrot accompanied by Pavlopoulos also visited the migrant centre in Evros, north-eastern Greece, near the Greek-Turkish border.  The Commissioner called for a strong stance to be adopted by Europe vis-a-vis migrant traffickers, adding that all countries of Europe should demonstrate their solidarity to countries which are more exposed to illegal immigration, such as Greece. Hellenic Migration Policy Institute: Statistical Data on Immigrants in Greece; European Commission: Towards a Common Immigration Policy  ELIAMEP- Clandestino: Stocks of Irregular Migrants: Estimates for Greece

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Greek PM at the EPP Congress

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis addressed the European Peoples’ Party (EPP) conference, ahead of the June Elections at the European Parliament, in Warsaw on Wednesday, stressing the need for shielding the European social model and maintaining the balance between the market and social responsibility. The conference was attended by most premiers of the European Union member-states, as well as a considerable number of party leaders, both from member-states and EU accession candidate countries. Referring to the crucial economic situation, Karamanlis underlined that the key word is “confidence” and that the EPP has always placed emphasis on the social dimension in safeguarding economic cohesion and social solidarity.

European Council Convenes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The European Council opened its two-day proceedings in Brussels yesterday, December 11, with the participation of the heads of state and government of the European Union member states. During the European People’s Party (EPP) Summit, convened to focus on global financial crisis, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis emphasised on Thursday that the European economy is faced with a slowdown that entails consequences for all countries. In statements made after the meeting, he pointed out that a collective response is necessary through the coordination of national strategies and interventions, adding that the priority is to help the most vulnerable social groups and preserve a developmental momentum as much as possible while protecting jobs. The main issues on the Council’s agenda include the financial and economic crisis, EU energy and climate change policy, the Common Agricultural Policy, the Lisbon Treaty, external relations and the European Security and Defence Policy. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: European Council December Summit (Brussels, 11-12 Dec. 2008)

Karamanlis @ EU Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)       Entering a summit of the European People’s Party (EPP), ahead of the European Council summit scheduled (June 19-20), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis described the conjuncture in Europe as “particularly sensitive.” The European Union must prove that it can effectively meet the challenges it faces, especially with regard to the high cost of living affecting all of Europe, Karamanlis noted. The premier referred to his recent letter to European Commission president Manuel Jose Barroso in which he pointed out the need for addressing this problem at the EU summit. Regarding the Lisbon Treaty, Karamanlis also stressed the importance of the ratification process for the shake of Europe and its citizens. Athens News Agency: PM Karamanlis in Brussels for EU summit; EU Council: Press Release Provisional Version (19.6.2008)