GR US

EU's Front-Line Countries Discuss Joint Stance on New Migration Pact

Αssociated Press

Alternate Minister for immigration policy in the ministry of Citizen's Protection of Greece, George Koumoutsakos speaks to the Associated Press during an interview , in Athens, on Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS -- Five European front-line countries in terms of migration, including Greece, held a video conference on Wednesday to coordinate action ahead of the EU home affairs ministers meeting on Friday that will discuss, among other issues, the new pact on migration and asylum.

Ministers from Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Malta and Spain expressed concern over the absence of changes in the European Commission's proposal that would restore an imbalance between obligations of front-line countries and the solidarity provided to them, a statement by the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum said.

The five confirmed their joint stance on the legislative package involved, saying that "nothing can be agreed to unless everything is agreed to."

In a statement, Alternate Migration & Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said, "The five front-line coutries of the European Union have decided to contribute constructively to the negotiations for the new European Policy on Migration and Asylum. This however cannot rest on the belief that the five countries of [the EU's] external borders will shoulder the burden of all 27 [member states] on their own."