Statements by Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Tsipras, following the proceedings of the 5th Southern EU Countries Summit – 29 January 2019

“Message of commitment towards finding common European solutions”
Following the completion of the proceedings of the 5th Southern EU Countries Summit, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made, inter alia, the following statements on the common European approach towards the refugee-migration issue:
“There is no doubt that the countries of the European South recently experienced, in a harsh way, the most significant crises that the European Union has been through; both the economic crisis as well as the refugee and migrant crisis.
Consequently, we have yet another reason, also based on the experience we have gained, to fight together and address regional inequalities within the European Union in a prospect of social convergence and convergence between countries, Member-States. But, of course, we also have every reason to wish for the migrant crisis to be handled through the prism of the principle of solidarity and sharing of responsibility, and not through a view that wants each of us to handle problems alone, especially when these problems do not concern each of us separately but pertain to the European Union as a whole.
I firmly believe that the countries of the European South, especially during a period when the logic of isolationism prevails, the logic of national entrenchment, in an era when racism and xenophobia are becoming leading political discourse, can also send a message deriving from their tradition and culture as well as their different visualisation of the future. Let’s send a message of cooperation and a message that European solutions do exist to all the problems we face.
I would like to elaborate a bit on the issue of the migrant crisis. This perhaps took up the greatest amount of time during our discussion. We stressed the need for Europe to obtain a new common European system of asylum, based on solidarity and the fair distribution of responsibilities. But we cannot speak of solidarity without this being expressed in practice, without, in other words, the creation of a mechanism to redistribute asylum seekers among Member-States. Therefore, revision of the Dublin Regulation represents a significant priority for us in the near future”.