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Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ intervention at the Regional Growth Conference - main points (Patras, 04.06.2021)

Friday, 04 June 2021

Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ intervention at the Regional Growth Conference - main points (Patras, 04.06.2021)

In his intervention at the 9th Regional Growth Conference held in Patras, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, sent the message that the Conference on the Future of Europe begins its journey today throughout Greece, to reach all Greek citizens. He added that it was time Brussels remained silent while Europe’s periphery and its citizens should make their voice heard.

Mr. Varvitsiotis highlighted the key role of the Mediterranean, an area where the security, stability, economic, intercultural and inter-religious cooperation of its peoples is built, while it is also the source of the history of Europe itself.

To this end, the Alternate Minister stressed the need for Europe to invest in its Mediterranean neighbourhood, where significant security challenges should be addressed, but also the major challenge of migration, which divides the European Union. At the same time, he added, Europe must take advantage of the large new population of its Mediterranean countries that is seeking to be productive, thus making the European economy a truly global economy.

Finally, Mr. Varvitsiotis announced that next week Athens will host the preparatory Meeting of Ministers of the Mediterranean countries of Europe (Med7), in the light of the upcoming Summit at the level of Heads of State, which will be held in Chania in September. In this context, the Alternate Minister informed that Greece has included a new issue in the European agenda, that of the European cooperation for the protection of the marine environment of the Mediterranean which is under threat. Because, as he stated, the Mediterranean is the sea that unites us. Unless we take initiatives to save and develop its marine environment, then neither tourism nor fishing, nor safe and pleasant sea travel would benefit.

In the discussion participated also Mr. Nektarios Farmakis, Governor of Western Greece Region, Ms.Rodi Kratsa, Governor of Ionian Islands Region (via videoconference) and Mr. Nasser Kamel, Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Konstantinos Tsoutsoplidis, Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Greece.

It is noted that before his intervention at the Regional Growth Forum, Mr. Varvitsiotis had a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, Mr. Nasser Kamel, ahead of the upcoming Meeting of the Euro-Mediterranean Group of Med7 in Athens.

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