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Alternate Foreign Minister G. Katrougalos attends meeting of EU General Affairs Council (Luxembourg, 20 June 2017)
The migration/refugee issue should be handled through fundamental principles of solidarity, respect for common decisions and international law, Alternate Foreign Minister G. Katrougalos stressed, speaking at today's meeting of the EU General Affairs Council, in Luxembourg. In this context, he considered it an omission not to include a reference to the European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant case law of the Strasbourg Court in the draft Conclusions of the European Council.
Mr. Katrougalos underscored the need for a holistic, and not fragmented, regulation of this major issue. As an example, he stated that it does not suffice for us to agree on the new asylum policies, which countries are considered "safe" with regard to the granting of asylum. We also need to ensure that there will be effective readmission agreements and procedures, so that reception countries do not become "black boxes" trapping people.
The Alternate Foreign Minister stressed the need to strengthen the autonomy of the Common Security and Defence Policy for the protection of European Citizens from external threats and fear, and to strengthen the Union's global role.
In the discussion on the relocation of European Organizations based in the UK, Mr. Katrougalos argued for the need to show flexibility and seek consensual solutions regarding the criteria to be implemented.
Earlier, Mr. Katrougalos participated in a meeting of Social Democrat European Affairs Ministers with the Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, on the subject of the need to strengthen rule of law in the European Union and restore the balance between the social and economic dimensions of European integration.