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Press Office

Athens, 19 September 2022

Meeting of Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe

"Wars in 2022 and threatening behavious, beyond any other indecency, are a huge anachronism, which prevents humanity and slows it down from solving its real problems, which is not the expansion of borders, but the protection of the environment and the protection of human life". This was emphasised by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Constantine Tassoulas at the opening of the meeting of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which took place today at the Senate Hall of the Parliament, chaired by Greek MP Theodoros Roussopoulos. Mr Tassoulas underlined that "Greece has high guarantees, which cover all dimensions of its migration policy, the protection of its external borders, which are also the borders of the EU, the reception and examination of petitions for international protection and the return of nationals of third countries who are not entitled to protection."

The head of the Greek Delegation to the PACE Dora Bakoyannis, in her address, mentioned, inter alia, that Greece and Europe have been a safe refuge for many years now. At the same time she emphasised that we will continue to secure our borders and not tolerate the instrumentalisation of migrants and pointed out that Greece, Italy, Spain have assumed a heavy burden, disproportionate to the refugees arriving in Europe". Referring to the issue of unaccompanied minors she noted that more coordinated actions are required for relocation and integration programmes for the hundreds of unaccompanied children who reach our country. 

The Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis, in his intervention, stressed the need for a common vision, a model with a better border security and protection mechanism, pointing out that in our country there is a clandestine movement of migrants, there are too many incidents of misinformation, fake news and many times Greece is called upon to face and manage multiple challenges at the same time. As he said, we must avoid the instrumentalisation of migrants and migrants must not continue to be a profitable business for anyone. Mr Mitarakis stressed that recognised migrants should have the right to reside in every EU member state within two or three years, regardless of their country of entry. At this moment - he noted - there is no common line. There is free movement for refugees from Ukraine but not for refugees from other third countries. There must be a fair distribution of the burden of migration across all EU member states. Furthermore, there must be a proper management of the joint partnership and synergy with Turkey.

Among the members of the PACE participating in the meeting are Greek MPs and members of the Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons Committee and members of the Greek Delegation to the Assembly Sokratis Famellos, Liana Kanelli, Foteini Bakadima, as well as the Assembly's Secretary General Despina Chatzivasiliou-Tsovilis. Reports on European solidarity in the framework of migration and asylum were also discussed, as were reports on the integration of refugees and migrants, on the social integration of migrants, refugees and internally displaced through sports, and also the contribution of the CoE in the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular migration. 

The Committee meeting will be followed by a Sub-Committee on Diasporas and Integration meeting. The Chairman of the Committee on Greeks Abroad of the Hellenic Parliament Savvas Anastasiadis will address the meeting. 

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