Greece’s Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas called on the EU to do more to support first-port-of-call countries like Greece.
Vitsas who made the comments on Thursday during an informal council of European Union justice and home affairs ministers taking place in Bucharest stressed the need for the EU to swiftly conclude a discussion on a Common European Asylum System.
The Minister said that it was particularly important to send a strong and clear political message to the society in countries of first reception that Europe is ready to support them in dealing with the migration-refugee challenge. This message, he continued, needs to be sent ahead of the European elections, so as to make it clear that the EU pays heed to the needs of its citizens and is not hostage to internal political aspirations.
Furthermore, the migration minister reiterated Greece’s standing position that the Dublin Regulation needs to be revised and that, until that happens, a transition mechanism needs to be put in place, an essential part of which will be the obligatory redistribution of migrants to other EU countries. In addition, he said, the lack of progress on reforming the regulation is facilitating the activities of human trafficking networks.