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Press Office

Athens, 21 September 2022

European Affairs Committee briefed on course of work of Czech Presidency of EU Council

The European Affairs Committee of the Hellenic Parliament was briefed on the course of work of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Greece Jakub Karfik. The meeting took place in the context of the customary exchange of views wth the diplomatic authorities of the country holding the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. 

In his introductory speech, the 1st Vice-President of the Hellenic Parliament and Chairman of the European Affairs Committee Nikitas Kaklamanis, while commenting on the priorities set by the Czech Presidency, expressed his concern on the weakness of the EU to strike the necessary balance between responsibility of the member states and solidairity on the issue of migration management, emphasising that for our country there can be no agreement on the part of responsibility, without a specific commitment on the part of solidarity. He then expressed his satisfaction with the adoption by the European Council of the Greek government's 6-point plan proposal to tackle the impact on households and businesses, while calling on the EU to make use of the work that has already been done by Athens with the MENA countries to transport energy via pipelines and electricity transmission cables, in the framework of strengthening the EU's energy autonomy.

In his speech, Mr Karfik, while explaining the Czech Presidency's motto "Europe as a task", pointed out that the global environment calls for us to rethink the EU, restructure and strengthen it. The programme of the Czech Presidency was adjusted to the dramatic development we are witnessing in our immediate neighhbourhood, while also reflecting the Presidency's agenda. 

Answering questions from members of the Committee on managing the migration and refugee issue, which was exacerbated with the crisis in Ukraine, Mr Karfik informed the members on the progress made in the negotiations on the new European pact on migration and asylum with the adoption of a 2024 roadmap. He pointe out that the Czech Presidency will pay special attention to the external dimension of migration in cooperation with countries along the migration routes. Regarding the issue of security in the Eastern Mediterranean and the EU-Turkey relations, the Ambassador noted the EU's concern about the situation in the region. Lastly, he pointed out that the Czech Republic supports the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic, reminding that the country's Foreign Minister has expressed concern about the overflights by Turkish aircraft violating Greek airspace, while the Interior Minister has spoken about the issue of the instrumentalisation of migration by the neighbouring country. 

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