Key points of the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras statement following the conclusion of the Informal Summit on 19-20 September 2018 in Salzburg, Austria

  • “This is not the first time we discuss the refugee crisis […] I would say that it is the central issue, […] about the future of Europe and it divides Europe today into two camps. On the one hand, those who believe it can be dealt with by building a fortress in their own countries. […] And on the other hand, those who believe – myself included – that, in order to deal with the problem, we must first address its root causes […] that is, wars, conflicts, inequalities in the countries from where these major migratory and refugee flows begin […] [we must have] an essential development perspective for North African and Asian countries and, of course, a European mechanism, an effective mechanism for managing our borders.”
  • “Greece is the leader in this second camp, which wants to have a broader [political] insight, a vision for Europe and the major problems it faces. One of these is the refugee crisis. Greece could not, of course, be in the other camp. And those who wish to take her back to such a camp should seriously consider the fact that Greece is the primary country facing this problem, along with Italy, Spain and France. It is a front-line country. Therefore, whatever fortresses are built, they are bound to be vulnerable. Perhaps central Northern European countries have reason to think as they do, but in my opinion they are short-sighted. Realism and reason must thus prevail. “
  • “At the Summit […] it was agreed to accelerate the procedures for upgrading Frontex to a European Coastguard and Border Control Guard, which would also allow the creation of a European mechanism of returns for those not in need of international protection. This is a positive development that our country […] is struggling to achieve.”
  • “At the same time we are faced with the prospect, the possibility of upgrading the European Asylum Service. Should this happen, it will be a very important development […] i.e. the Europeanisation of the procedures for asylum granting, since the first asylum countries cannot carry the entire burden on their shoulders.”
  • “Procedures should be speeded up, the prospect of revising the Dublin Regulation should be prioritised, a just revision of the Dublin Regulation. And that was something I brought forward as a matter of urgency, as well as making concrete thoughts and ideas for a more effective response via, possibly, the creation of a mechanism for alleviating frontline Mediterranean countries if they come up against [great migration] flows.”