“The summit which will start shortly is called upon to make critical decisions for the future of our European family. The first issue on our agenda will be the issue of European enlargement,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated on Thursday upon his arrival at the European Council in Brussels.
“Greece supports the proposals of the European Commission regarding enlargement, placing special emphasis on the need to start accession negotiations with Ukraine, and I hope and wish that we can overcome any reactions so that the European Council can unanimously send a clear message that Ukraine’s future is within the European family,” the prime minister added.
“At the same time, we will also discuss the revision of the multiannual financial framework so that we can secure additional resources for critical EU political priorities. I want to focus in particular on the need to increase resources for the management of the migration problem. It is a given that when the funding decisions were taken under the previous multiannual financial framework, we did not take into account the increase in migratory pressures and the need to allocate more resources to the protection of the Union’s external borders. So since the EU at the European Council level has moved in this direction it is absolutely necessary to add resources for the protection of the EU’s external borders and I am modestly optimistic that we will be able to take steps in this direction. It is also very important to add further resources to deal with the effects of the climate crisis and Greece has always been one of the pioneers of the effort to convince all European countries that we need more resources, more money to deal with the effects of the climate crisis.
Mitsotakis also referred to the discussion that will take place in the European Council on the developments in the Middle East: “We will eventually have the opportunity to discuss the developments in the Middle East and I want to believe that we will be able to reach conclusions that reflect on the one hand, the EU’s firm position that Israel has the right to self-defence, but on the other hand, to express our growing concern about the significant civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. It is very important for the EU to be able to achieve a unified position on an issue that also concerns our immediate neighbourhood, concerns the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Regarding the COP28 agreement, Mitsotakis said: “Finally, I would like to express my satisfaction for the successful conclusion of the negotiations in Dubai in the context of COP28. The agreement for phasing out fossil fuels is an important milestone in the global effort to limit the effects of the climate crisis. Greece will remain at the forefront of this battle by significantly increasing the penetration of Renewable Energy Sources, by improving its performance in terms of the energy efficiency of buildings and we are glad that even at the last minute the global community reached a very important agreement for the future of our entire planet.”