Fair burden sharing and cooperation of the member states and the EU institutions in implementing an integrated return policy is considered to be of the utmost importance to the Greek presidency.
[pullquote]We are living through one of the most important periods the European Union has ever known in the field of security, justice and home affairs[/pullquote]. A period marked by significant developments, opening new perspectives with direct or indirect effects on the future of member states and the progress of Europe. The geographical position of our continent, along with the fact that the main causes of migration flows to the EU have not been eliminated, are giving rise to security issues at a time when our primary objective is to achieve stability and development.
Given that today Europe is undergoing a severe economic crisis and reform efforts are being stepped up to create the conditions for recovery, the need to enhance a common EU policy in the field of justice and home affairs, based on the principle of solidarity and shared responsibility with regard to burden-sharing, is more imperative than ever.
In this context, the field of freedom, security and justice, which, as it is widely known, is a perennial priority of the European Union, is considered to be of the utmost importance to the Greek presidency.
The Greek presidency will focus its efforts on a European holistic approach and management of the migration policy, with parallel actions to mitigate the consequences of illegal migration in the economic, social and political reality of EU member states. The objective is to further improve the results of an EU global migration management.
The Greek presidency will work to promote important issues such as dealing with the burden of mixed migration flows and improving policies on the return/readmission of third country nationals with a corresponding increase of EU funding.
Given that the '2010-2014 Stockholm programme' is coming to an end, the Greek presidency will also focus its efforts on defining the strategic objectives and setting the priorities of the EU in the field of justice and home affairs for the post-Stockholm era. We consider that the new EU post-Stockholm guidelines should reflect the principles of solidarity, shared responsibility and proportionality, as well as the conditions and the principles laid down in the Lisbon treaty, especially for those member states that are negatively affected in various fields.
Greece will also seek to update the "EU action plan on tackling migration pressure – strategic response", placing particular emphasis on measures tackling illegal migration, especially readmission and repatriation, on combating human trafficking and on building an institutional framework for border management, in cooperation with third countries of origin and transit involved in migration flows.
Fair burden-sharing and cooperation of the member states and the EU institutions in implementing an integrated return policy is considered to be of the utmost importance to the Greek presidency. Our aim is to place particular emphasis on measures to strengthen solidarity and burden-sharing to all member states which are under particular pressure due to mixed migration flows.
Our aspiration is to implement in an efficient and effective manner the objectives and priorities set today, so as to create the necessary conditions for a constructive continuation, before we hand over the EU presidency to Italy in June 2014. Europe has to stand united and face the challenges of the most remarkable attempt in history to ensure peaceful coexistence and create a common path for different peoples.