News & Info : Press Office

Press Office

Athens, 14 June 2021

2nd High-level Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Migration and Asylum in Europe

A delegation from the Hellenic Parliament consisting of MPs Kostas Karagounis, Giota Poulou and Manos Konsolas, members of the Standing Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice, participated remotely in the Second high-level inter-parliamentary conference on migration and Asylum in Europe co-organised by the European Parliament and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU

During the first session of the Conference the impact of the pandemic on migration and asylum policies was discussed. Mr. Karagounis, in his intervention, stressed that the pandemic has affected the overall readmission, deportation and departure process of people whose asylum applications have been rejected, as according to the data the number of returns globally did not exceed twenty thousand. Referring to Turkey, he emphasised that it does not implement the relevant agreements with Greece and the EU. He also noted that Turkey requests and receives aid from the EU for Syrian refugees, while at the same time it operates in Syria, causing migratory flows. Lastly, he pointed out that it would be very important to establish a central European returns management agency, which would be more effective than fragmented actions by member states. 

Mrs. Poulou, for her part, said that the health impact of the pandemic is disproportionately affecting vulnerable groups, due to the parallel “pandemic” of social and economic inequality, which is intensifying and undermining cohesion in our societies, exposing low income individuals, the unemployed, disabled and minorities to unprecedented health risks. She also argued that the consequences for refugees and asylum seekers were harsher since the EU institutions and the member states did not protect the health of these groups, thus increasing the risk to public health. She concluded by saying that we must not turn a blind eye to the health marginalisation of refugees and asylum seekers, and that we must direct European funding to the creation of a “wall of immunity” against COVID-19 and not to the wall of “Fortress Europe”. 

In the second session of the Conference on the external dimension of migration and asylum policies, it was Mr. Manos Konsolas who took the floor from the Hellenic Parliament and focused, on the one hand, on the need to formulate a common European asylum system and, on the other, on reframing and renegotiating the EU-Turkey agreement on a new basis. He stressed that the EU is not susceptible to blackmail and that this is the message we should be sending to third countries engaging in practices that instrumentalise the migration issue. Summing up he pointed out that a common stance and uniform rules in tackling the migration problem reinforce the stature and geopolitical footprint of the EU itself.  


 High resolution images

The Hellenic Parliament's Web Portal uses cookies as specifically mentioned here