Refugee flows towards Greece have increased and in case that the situation in Idlib, Syria, deteriorates, a new European initiative will be needed to manage the situation, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said - according to government sources - at the working dinner of the leaders of the EU member states in Salzburg, while insisting on a comprehensive, European approach to the issue.
The Greek Prime Minister in his speech noted:
1. The only way to deal with the challenge of refugee flows is a comprehensive, European approach. Better border management is important, but it is just one aspect of the necessary approach. A fair burden sharing is needed within Europe and better cooperation with third countries.
2. It is necessary to establish as soon as possible the European Border Guard and Coast Guard.
3. It is necessary to revise the European Asylum System by 2018 towards a fair and proportional burden sharing. France, Spain, Portugal and Germany, among other countries, have also shared this view.
4. FRONTEX's upgrading to European Border Guard and Coast Guard must be accompanied with the upgrading of the EASO and the gradual Europeanisation of the asylum procedure, with safeguards for the sovereign rights of the member states. The prime minister also stressed that the most important aspect of the European Border Guard and Coastguard is the constitution of the European Return Mechanism that Greece has long been calling for.
On Thursday, at 09.30 local time, the plenary session of the informal summit will begin to discuss the issue of security, and a working lunch has been scheduled from 13.00 to 15.00 to discuss the course of the Brexit negotiations.