"This is the first instance of trilateral cooperation on migration between the EU first-reception countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, as a result of an initiative launched by Greece," stated Alternate Citizen Protection Minister for Migration George Koumoutsakos on Thursday. Koumoutsakos was referring to a joint initiative to be presented by Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria at a European level, during next week's EU Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg.
Koumoutsakos said that Greece "is taking on a key role for the joint formulation of an effective European migration policy," and explained that Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria will take coordinated action to persuade their European partners and the European institutions to provide additional support. He said the three Eastern Mediterranean countries will ask for "more European solidarity and responsibility, a fairer distribution of burdens, an effective European returns mechanism and, finally, the full implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Statement by all the parties involved".
The intiative will be officially presented with the submission of the specific text to the Justice and Home Affairs Council next week in Brussels.