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Public Order minister presents Greek EU presidency's priorities on security, justice and internal affairs
Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday placed immigration issues at the top of the Greek European Council presidency's agenda for security, justice and internal affairs, during a presentation at the Zappion building in Athens.
Dendias stressed that the Greek presidency will focus its efforts on examining the parameters of immigration policy with a dual goal: "On the one hand to alleviate the repercussions of illegal immigration in relation to the economic social and political reality of the member-states, but also, to the degree that this is feasible, to facilitate legal immigration with the criterion of its contribution to the economic growth of Europe. Also among our priorities is the effective handling of borders. In this framework, we shall work to promote important issues, such as European funding to cover expenditures resulting from illegal immigration flows and strengthening efforts for an effective joint European return policy," the public order minister said.
Also among the ministry's aims in the next six months is to update the EU Action Plan on handling immigration pressure, while the Greek presidency intends to promote the practical implementation of the Joint European Asylum system, Dendias said.
The minister further stressed the need for close cooperation with third countries on issues as asylum, readmission, the managing of mixed migration flows, legal immigration, the management of borders and agreements on facilitating visas.
Concluding his address, Dendias stressed that "maybe the time has come for us to move from an alliance of partners to creating a true European family."