N. Mitarachi: "More European cooperation is needed to increase voluntary and compulsory returns"

Vienna: Participation of the Minister of Μigration and Asylum Μr. Notis Mitarachi at the Joint Coordination Platform Ministerial Conference Returns

The Minister of Migration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, attended today in Vienna, the Joint Coordination Platform Ministerial Conference on Returns, which was established on the initiative of Austria.

The main purpose of the Conference was to strengthen the possibility of returning third-country nationals to their countries of origin and develop cooperation between the countries on the Western Balkans and Eastern Mediterranean route. The Conference was chaired by the Austrian Minister of Interior, Mr. Gerhard Karner, in the presence of, among others, the French Minister of the Interior, Mr. Gerald Darmanin, who holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU for the upcoming six months.

After the Conference, a Joint Statement was issued placing emphasis on the best ways to cooperate in the fight against illegal migration and to strengthen the possibility of returning those who are not entitled to international protection to third countries, through cooperation schemes, exchange of know-how and best practices.

The Minister of Migration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi made the following statement:

"EU Home Affairs Ministers and our Western Balkan colleagues have discussed a crucial issue for European asylum policy. The issue of deportations of those who are not entitled to legal residence in the EU.

More European cooperation is needed - and Greece is at the forefront of this negotiation for the New Migration and Asylum Pact - for mechanisms that will lead to an increase in voluntary and forced returns. Europe should grant asylum only to those who are entitled to it under international law.

Our country will clearly continue to implement the policy of not being the gateway to Europe for smuggling networks. A policy that has had concrete and measurable results during the last two years."

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