Meeting of the Minister of Μigration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Mr. Vit Rakušan.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic, Mr. Vit Rakušan, was welcomed to the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum by the Minister, Mr. Notis Mitarachi.
Mr. Mitarachi and Mr. Rakušan discussed in a very good atmosphere, with the bilateral relations of the two countries once again proving to be excellent. The main topic of the discussion was on Migration under the shadow of the deadly events in the Aegean, with Mr. Mitarachi expressing his concern about Türkiye’s non-compliance with the agreed terms as they derive from the 2016 Joint Statement.
"Under the shadow of yesterday's deadly events in the Aegean, I shared with Mr. Rakušan our serious concerns which are provoked by Türkiye’s behaviour”, said Mr. Mitarachi.
As the Minister of Migration and Asylum noted during the joint statements, " Türkiye’s incendiary rhetoric and practices of instrumentalizing the migration issue is problematic for Europe as a whole. The time has come for the European Union, collectively and coordinated, to demand that Türkiye control its borders, just as International Law dictates."At the same time, the Minister of Migration and Asylum emphasized that the Pact on Migration and Asylum will be the main issue at the Med 5 Ministerial Summit in Cyprus.
The statement of the Minister of Migration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, in detail:
“It was with great pleasure for me to welcome today, at the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the Minister of the Interior and Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Mr. Vit Rakusan and the members of his delegation.
Greece and the Czech Republic, which has assumed the presidency of the EU during the current semester, enjoy excellent bilateral relations and share many common positions regarding European migration and asylum policy.
Both countries share the need for the effective protection of the external borders of the EU Protection that will prevent mass illegal migration flows and enhance the feeling of security within the common Schengen area. We had the opportunity to exchange views on the common challenges we face in the migration issue.
In the shadow of yesterday's deadly events in the Aegean, I shared with the Minister our serious concerns provoked by Turkey's non-compliance with the agreed terms of the 2016 Joint Declaration.
Türkiye’s inflammatory rhetoric and the practices of instrumentalization of the migration issue is a European concern.
The time has come for the European Union, collectively and in a coordinated to demand that Türkiye effectively controls its borders, according to International Law.
To prevent illegal departures from its territory, to combat the networks of illegal smugglers and to start receiving returns again.
In short, to finally fulfil the commitments it has undertaken towards the EU since 2016.
We also discussed with the Minister the Migration and Asylum Pact that is under negotiation, an issue that will also be the focus of our deliberations this afternoon at the Med 5 Ministerial Summit in Cyprus.
Greece and the Czech Republic, members respectively of the Med-5 and V4 groups, may not always share the same views, om different aspects of the Pact, however, we are committed to work closely together to find common ground.
To seek sustainable solutions to a range of issues, in order to create better conditions towards migration management in Europe.
Greece believes that it is imperative that we work together, to reduce the pressure and prevent further crises on our common external borders, making the European Union better prepared and more resilient.
Additionally, it is Greece’s position, shared also by the rest of the Med-5 members, that a show of solidarity towards the frontline Member States is imperative.
Solidarity which must be substantial, meaningful and have a solid impact.
It goes without saying that the Frontline States cannot handle by themselves the obligations deriving from the European acquis, Without adequate support, Without a "common European protection area”.
Thank you very much.”
Vit Rakušan: We thank Greece for protecting the borders of Europe
Mr. Rakušan, who, due to the Czech Republic’s presidency in the EU, also holds the office of the president of the European Union's Ministers of Internal Affairs, thanked Greece for the protection of the European borders, pointing out in his speech during the joint statements that "we want to take further steps on migration. We will discuss these issues at MED 5, which starts tomorrow."
Mr. Rakušan pointed out that "Europe is under the pressure of a large wave of migration. The Czech Republic is facing a big problem after the war in Ukraine, as we have welcomed tens of thousands of refugees. We have over 400,000 refugees in the Czech Republic. A big wave, which forced us to change our entire social system."
He also said, “illegal migration is much larger in numbers. We note the highest numbers since 2015. We are looking for solutions for the safety of our citizens. We carry out border controls with Slovakia, but it is not easy or simple at all."
In conclusion, he said that "while holding the presidency, the Czech Republic's priority is to talk with the national parliaments, the European Commission and our partners in all countries. The Czech Republic’s Presidency is the reason why I will also be at MED 5 Summit in Cyprus. We are pushing for good neighborly steps to be taken between the countries."
Visit to the Camp of Schisto:
Afterwards, Mr. Mitarachi and Mr. Rakušan visited the Refugee Camp in Schisto where they were guided around the premises and spoke with the staff of the Camp. During their tour, the commander of the Refugee Camp, Mr. Thomas Papakonstantinou, presented the structure's progress, noting that before the re-establishment of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum in January 2020, "there was chaos in the Camp. Every day we had incidents, now we are a peaceful Camp without tensions".
Notis Mitarachi and Vit Rakušan left the structure bound for the airport "El. Venizelos" where they left for Cyprus and the MED5 meeting.