17 June, 2006
Reporting on the results of the two-day European Council that ended here on Friday, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis welcomed a decision by EU leaders to link the accession progress of western Balkan countries with their capacity to have and maintain good neighborly relations with EU member-states.
He also particularly welcomed the Council's decisions for dealing with migration, such as developing adequate infrastructure for supervising EU borders at sea and the creation of a border Rapid Reaction Force, pointing out that Greece had proposed the creation of a European coast guard two years earlier.
He said the meeting between EU heads of state and government had chiefly discussed Europe's future, such as progress on the stalled constitutional treaty that has now been further postponed until 2008, as well as issues like enlargement and migration, or the handling of crisis situations and emergencies.
Karamanlis stressed the importance of a decision taken by EU leaders, who on Friday asked the European Commission to prepare a report on the course of future enlargement for the Union by this Autumn. He said this report would greatly facilitate an in-depth consideration of enlargement, especially as regards the EU's capacity to absorb new members.
The Greek premier emphasized that Greece wanted the EU to protect its cohesion in the future, so that it was able to function on a political, fiscal and institutional level.
The Greek prime minister also said that his meeting with his Italian counterpart Romano Prodi in Brussels on Friday had chiefly centre on cooperation between the Mediterranean countries in the EU, noting that Prodi had shown great interest in Greece's efforts in this direction.
Source: Athens News Agency