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Participation of the Minister for Migration and Asylum Mr. Notis Mitarachi in the emergency teleconference of the EU Ministers of Interior

N. Mitarachi: "After the recent developments in Afghanistan, a new migration crisis that Europe is not able to shoulder must be avoided’’.

The Minister of Migration and Asylum , Mr. Notis Mitarachi, participated today in the emergency teleconference of the EU Ministers of Interior, convened by the Slovenian Presidency, on the issue of migration pressure on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border. Mr. Mitarachi referred to the solidarity shown by Greece to Lithuania from the very first moment of the crisis, through the exchange of know-how on border issues, reception and asylum, but also through the sharingof material and personnel within the FRONTEX force.

Simultaneously, the Minister for Migration underlined that the solidarity that Greece, together with the other front-line Member States, seeks in the context of the reform of the European migration and asylum policy, is proved in practice and in essence to anyone who needs it, such as Lithuania, Latvia and Poland recently.

The Minister for Migration and Asylum stressed the need for collective and decisive action from the EU, against any systematic efforts to instrumentalise migration for political reasons, noting that Belarus' reprehensible actions should not be dealt individually but as a continuation of a recurring practice by various countries, as it happened in March 2020 in the Greek-Turkish border.

The Mr. Mitarachi recalled the recent letter sent by nine Member States, at the initiative of Greece and the Netherlands, requesting a review of European migration policy following these new tactics of migrant instrumentation. The Minister reiterated his call for a common response to these phenomena, noting that the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the threat of a new influx of migrants to Europe leave no room for complacency.

Referring to the latest developments in Afghanistan, Mr. Mitarachi stressed the need for a united EU stance, taking appropriate support measures for countries in the region, which will be affected by the migration wave, and stressed the need to send the right messages in order to avoid a new migration crisis which Europe is unable to shoulder.

Finally Mr. Mitarachi stated: “There is no doubt that we should give asylum to those who have worked for the Member States and the European Union, but we must act proactively in order to avoid irregular migration flows.”

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