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Mitsotakis in Brussels to Participate in the European Council Summit

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, May 24, 2021. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool via AP)

BRUSSELS -- Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is visiting Brussels on Thursday to participate in the proceedings of the European Council.

The recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, migration, Turkey and Russia are high on the agenda of the summit.

European Council President Charles Michel said that the meeting would begin at 14:00 (Athens time) with an exchange of views with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on global challenges and geopolitical issues.

The key issue on the agenda will be the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the EU and worldwide, according to a letter from Charles Michel.

"The successful vaccination campaign underway across the EU, together with the launch of the COVID Digital Certificate, will facilitate free movement in the summer months and beyond," he said. However, he warned that there must be vigilance about new mutations in the virus to limit their spread in a coordinated manner.

"However, we need to keep a close eye on variants and contain their spread in a coordinated manner. As agreed in February, we will also engage in a first exchange on lessons learned from the pandemic so far, so as to best prepare for future crises. We will discuss how the EU can continue to lead efforts to vaccinate the world through exports and donations and how to increase the worldwide supply of vaccines," he added.

"On migration, we will take stock of the situation on the various routes. Our aim continues to be to prevent loss of life and to reduce pressure on the EU's borders. We will therefore focus on the external dimension, with the aim of strengthening our cooperation with countries of origin and transit. We should mandate action that will deliver results rapidly," the president of the European Council noted.

"As regards international issues, we will return to the EU's relations with Turkey, as announced in March. We will discuss relations with Russia, following our in-depth debate in May and the Commission and High Representative's report. We will review the implementation of our recent decisions on Belarus. I expect us also to adopt conclusions on Libya, the Sahel and Ethiopia," he stated.

"Turning to the economic recovery, we will take stock of the implementation of Next Generation EU. Once approved, national Recovery and Resilience Plans will enable a full and inclusive economic recovery. They will also pave the way for the Union's green and digital transitions, the twin engines of Europe's growth in the decades to come. At the end of our meeting on Friday, we will be joined by the Presidents of the European Central Bank and the Eurogroup for a Euro Summit in inclusive format. We will have a forward-looking discussion on how to foster a strong and sustainable economic recovery. This entails addressing the way forward on the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union as well as policy coordination in the euro area," Michel said in his letter.