France’s concepts of reform are beginning to spread throughout Europe
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, accompanied by Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis participated in a working breakfast on January 17th hosted by the French Embassy with the participation of the Ambassadors of the EU Member States, to mark the beginning of the French Presidency of the Council of the EU.
During the discussion, Minister Dendias outlined the priorities of Greek foreign policy for 2022, as well as the challenges the country faces. He thanked the Ambassador of France, Patrick Maisonnave, for hosting a very interesting meeting and reiterated that cooperation with Greece’s Ally France, is strengthening each passing day in all areas. He added that France constitutes the epitome of European solidarity as is stipulated in Article 42 (7) of the Lisbon Treaty.
“During our discussion with the EU Ambassadors, I outlined the challenges our country faces and the problems of the Balkans, but I also made special reference to the escalation of Turkish rhetoric, which has now reached another level, namely the direct challenging of Greek sovereignty over the islands of the Eastern Aegean,” he stressed.
He also emphasised the openings that Greece is making in its foreign policy, following his travels both to Africa and to various other countries, underlining the great interest that Greece now attaches to Sub-Saharan Africa, where France, protecting European interests, is extremely active.
Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis stressed that “Greece will assist in the initiatives taken by the French Presidency to consolidate our common vision of a stronger and more united Europe,” and expressed the hope that the other Member States would show the same spirit of cooperation because “European citizens are looking forward to more Europe, stronger in the world, more social, greener and more resilient.”
Ambassador Maisonnave after thanking the Ministers for this thorough debate, referred to the main issues on the agenda of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, alongside the crises which have been included in them, since there are political crises in the wider region, such as in Ukraine or the Balkans. He mentioned France’s concepts, which are beginning to spread throughout Europe, on the reform of the Schengen area and the need to analyse the ways in which to adapt politically the operation of the Schengen area, as well as the management of the common currency the Euro.
The French diplomat further talked about the challenges of migration, as well as the health crisis and its consequences on economies and societies. He noted that there will be a consultation on the rules of budgetary discipline of the Member States of the Union, which owing to the fact that they were laid down at the beginning of the nineties, France believes that circumstances have changed since then, so there is a need to reform the budgetary framework.