Koumoutsakos, Home Affairs Commissioner Discuss EU Migration Policy in Brussels


Giorgos Koumoutsakos. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Hristos Bonis)

BRUSSELS -- Europe needs a better and common policy on migration and asylum, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said on Tuesday, after her meeting with Greek Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister George Koumoutsakos in Brussels.

Johansson praised Greek authorities for their swift response to the fire at the reception and identification centre in Moria, saying that they had moved very fast to set up the new camp and house those left without any shelter after the fire.

"With Mr. Koumoutsakos we also discussed the future. We need a better European and common migration and asylum policy. We are presenting it next week and everyone understands that it is a difficult exercise to find a compromise on which all the member-states and the European Parliament can agree. But it is essential that we do this," she said.

Koumoutsakos, on his part, said that Greece needs support because, as frontline country bearing the brunt of the migration wave, it should be able to deal with this not as its own national problem but as a European problem.

"We had very good and substantial discussion ...the aim of my presence here and in all the meetings I will have in Brussels is, on the one hand, to raise my awareness here at the decision-making centre of Europe about the challenge Greece is facing as a frontline country, about the situation on Lesvos, the destruction of Moria, the need for substantial solidarity but also to talk about the imminent Migration and Asylum Pact for the new European Policy," he said.

(ANA/ E. Zarkadoula)