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Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ intervention at the EU General Affairs Council (Brussels, 15 October 2019)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias and Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis participated in the EU General Affairs Council (GAC) in Luxembourg.
The topics discussed during the meeting included EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, Brexit, and the new Multiannual Financial Framework, on which no conclusions were adopted. These topics will be discussed again at the upcoming European Council meeting.
Regarding the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the Alternate Minister stressed in his remarks that “a strong Europe needs a strong multiannual financial framework. Without this, Europe is not strong. You can’t seek to do more with less money,” he noted. “What we are seeing today is a constant reduction in the total budget, and the policies in this budget are separated and tagged as either traditional or modern,” he argued, adding that there are in fact no traditional or modern policies, but policies that Europe and our regions need to reach the European average.
He stressed that, due to the ten-year crisis, Greece has lost some 25% of its GDP, and in order for our economy to return to pre-crisis levels it must be able to receive more funding than that provided for in the proposed framework.
Finally, he referred to the issue of security and migration in the EU, welcoming the increase in funding for policies that help toward effective management of these issues, and he reminded the partners that the migration issue is a European issue that must be dealt with by the Union as a whole and not by member states as individual units.