Migration minister: Returning denied asylum seekers is a condition for the protection of refugees

FRONTEX: Migration flows to Greece drop by 74%

"A condition so that the international protection of refugees can work is the return of those whose requests have been denied to their countries of origin," Minister of Migration and Asylum Dimitris Kairidis stressed in a post on the social media platform X on Thursday.

He pointed out that the crisis in the Middle East has increased a sense of urgency regarding the adoption of common migration policies at a European Union level.

Kairides noted, "the Council of Ministers of the EU on Migration is being held today in Luxembourg. Last night, as soon as I arrived, I met with the European People's Party group, to which the New Democracy belongs, and which consists of my counterparts from the rest of Europe and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas.

"We agreed that at today's Summit we should insist on the issue of returning those whose asylum applications are rejected. As I explained, a condition for the international protection of refugees to work is the return to the countries of origin of those whose requests are denied."

He added that "today, returns are few and must be increased through a common European mechanism that will coordinate and oblige the countries of origin to take back their citizens."

"Thus, a powerful deterrent message will also be sent to trafficking rings and flows will decline. Unfortunately, at the moment the European Parliament has not fully aligned with this self-evident position and pressure from us is needed, in view of the conclusion of the negotiation for the new European Union Migration and Asylum Pact."

The minister noted that "the second important thing is the uncompromising fight against trafficking. A landmark is the big conference in Brussels against trafficking on November 28. The European Union must go after all those involved in the illegal trafficking circuit."

"The crisis in the Middle East has heightened the sense of urgency to adopt common and effective migration policies at a European level. Greece, which is at the forefront of the problem of illegal migration and has succeeded in handling it much better than many other countries, plays an active role in the wider European debate, with numerous bilateral contacts in close coordination with the European Commission," he concluded.

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