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Frontex presence has slowed migrant flow at Greek border, minister says

Δημοσίευση 3 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 10:58 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Frontex presence has slowed migrant flow at Greek border, minister says
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The presence of Frontex forces along the Greek-Turkish land border has helped reduce the pressure from illegal migration in that region, Greece's Citizens' Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis told his EU counterparts on Thursday.

The presence of Frontex forces along the Greek-Turkish land border has helped reduce the pressure from illegal migration in that region, Greece's Citizens' Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis told his EU counterparts on Thursday.

Addressing the EU Justice and Home Affairs ministers' council, Papoutsis cited the European Commission's report on protecting the EU's external borders and preventing illegal migration and stressed that the observed reduction in migration flow after the deployment of the EU border agency's Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) in Evros was significant.

Papoutsis said that these first positive indications had to become more firmly entrenched and for this reason asked the Commission to speed up a series of initiatives to discourage undocumented migrants from entering the EU.

Among these he listed the signature of a European Re-admission Treaty with Turkey, stressing that Greece's neighbour must fully respect the European acquis, the principles of the EU and the interests of the other member-states.

He also called for implementation of the Re-admission Agreement with Pakistan and said the EU needed to exert political pressure on migrant origin and transit countries to reduce the flow of undocumented migrants entering Europe.

Papoutsis pointed out that Greece was already implementing its national action plan for reforming the country's system for asylum and migration management, in order to deal with the emergency situation created by massive illegal migration pressures it currently faced.

He also expressed support for the efforts of the Belgian EU presidency to create a single European asylum system, while stressing the necessity to revise the "Dublin II" regulation for the return of migrants to the country of entry, which in its current form placed a disproportionately large burden upon Greece.

Greece had neither the infrastructure nor the resources that would allow it to cope single-handedly with the shared European problem of preventing illegal migration, Papoutsis underlined. He called for specific and immediate cooperation on this between EU member-states, noting that it required better coordination, strong political will and real solidarity.

Otherwise, the minister warned, the security of European citizens and cohesion of European society was at stake.