Austria: Participation of the Minister of Μigration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi at the Vienna Migration Conference
The Minister of Migration and Asylum, Mr. Notis Mitarachi, participated at the Vienna Migration Conference, one day after the official announcement of the International Center for the Development of Migration Policy ICMPD, that Greece officially becomes its 19th member state.
Mr. Mitarachi participated in a panel discussion on "Partnerships in Practice: Connecting the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans", along with the ICMPD Director-General Mr.Michael Spindelegger, Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Security Mr. Selgemo Cotic. and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Mr. Peter Szijjarto. In his speech, the Minister of Immigration and Asylum stressed that
"Greece has shown in the last two years its determination to effectively protect the EU's external borders and to combat smuggling networks, as we firmly believe that if smugglers defeat us at the external borders, they will inevitably defeat us at the internal borders as well. Secondary flows lead to more primary flows and that is why we are working in both directions. Thanks to these efforts, we can say with confidence that the situation on the Eastern Mediterranean route is much improved and the flows are significantly reduced, by 90% compared to 2019."
Mr. Mitarachi also referred to the Joint Coordination Platform of Vienna which "can evolve to a reference regional cooperation mechanism and be used as a model for other regional schemes.’’ The Minister of Migration and Asylum pointed out that
"recent experience at the EU's external border with Belarus has shown that our region or the Mediterranean is not the only one creating migratory crises and that migration routes can change rapidly as smugglers find creative ways to overcome the obstacles we create. Therefore, we support a predictable migration system," Mr. Mitarachi said, "at European level with an emphasis on resilience, including through border protection, so givers and receivers of solidarity can change positions at any time. A system that will ensure security for the whole of Europe, based, among other things, on strong and mutually beneficial cooperation with all the key regional actors in our region, including, of course, the Western Balkans. "
Referring to the new European Pact of Migration and Asylum, Mr. Mitarakis reiterated the view that"for matters of external relations, border protection and returns, the Pact is not a precondition for action."
"It is a position in which all Member States can agree to be a landing zone for future compromises on other issues that cause greater controversy," he concluded.