ΓΡΑΦΕΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ ΠΡΩΘΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΥ
Παρασκευή, 27 Ιουνίου 2014
First of all, thank you both for your kind words on our Presidency and may I first say that on behalf of Greece, as I had indicated from the very beginning, I was one of the 26 who voted for Jean-Claude Juncker. He is the best choice for Europe. I believe he is a passionate European who can bridge differences- and this is very important- but he is also a realist politician. He is a person with very deep knowledge of Europe and its problems. A very deep knowledge of the European institutions. And a man with a true commitment in helping the European citizens. So, therefore, the backing of the European Council to Jean-Claude Juncker tonight is a very important development for Europe. The Greek approach to the Presidency, ladies and gentlemen, was practical- may I say- it was result-oriented. 67 pieces of legislation were concluded. Agreement was reached within the Council on over 15 legislative acts. Our main priorities were: Deepening of the EMU, while tackling the euro’s deficiencies. May I say that the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation- the SRM- as well as the Inter-Governmental Agreement on the Single Resolution Fund- the SRF- are, combined together, a very major and important step towards the European Banking Union. On Jobs and Growth, the own resources legislative package, the funding of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, legislation in the framework of the Single Market Act I and II, as, for instance, the Regulation on e-Business and e-Commerce, the Directives on the posting of workers, electronic invoicing in public procurement and the disclosure of non-financial information of businesses, which is very important to fight tax evasion.
The Union’s participation in the capital increase of the European Investment Fund is also very important and it has been secured. And it’s extremely important for what we care all three of us most, which is the SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) companies in Europe. Important investment files were also concluded, while progress was made in fields as telecommunications and infrastructure.
Now, on the border and migration management: this is a major challenge –I believe- for the whole of the EU. The list of countries requiring a visa to enter the EU was revised, allowing citizens of around 20 countries to the EU without a visa. We also passed the Directive on the conditions of entry and stay in the context of Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) and we also revise the FRONTEX Regulation.
I believe also that a major breakthrough is the adoption of the Post Stockholm Strategic Guidelines in the area of freedom, security and justice, as I’ve just said. They focus attention on the implementation of the principle of solidarity in the areas of asylum, border and migration management, the linkage between migration and the Union’s foreign policy and the development of effective return, readmission and visa policies, that is an effective internal security framework for Europe.
The horizontal thematic of the Hellenic Presidency has been to redefine and re-launch the EU maritime policies in all their aspects, including security, growth and energy. A key component is the European Maritime Security Strategy. It is the first time that the EU is developing a holistic, cross-sectoral strategy of this kind, which will result in better protecting and promoting our security and our economic interests at sea. Agreement was reached on the Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning. A Regulation was adopted to finance the actions of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).
Two more things, agreement has been reached for the Regulation on the statute and the funding of European political parties and foundations. I believe it is a qualitative leap forward for Europe’ Democracy, through truly European political parties.
Agreement was also reached on new rules for the EU Solidarity Fund and the implementation of the Solidarity Clause, enabling joint action in major crisis.
And also particular attention was paid to the enlargement, to renew the relevant EU’s commitments and interest. So, again thank you very much.
Journalist: Τo the two Presidents: First, if I read you correctly you are asking for flexibility in the implementation of the stability and growth back. But is that how far you want to go? Do you have any indication that maybe the next Presidency will like to revise the pack all together and bearing in mind. Of course the IMF article n. four (recommendation) that says it is over very complicated and might need to simplify the rules, if they are complicated.
So, one more question to Prime Minister Samaras: Could you please elaborate a little bit more in the maritime safety directly? Thanks.
Antonis Samaras: If I may answer that question myself, I believe that it is some talk going on about whether you want to relax, review the stability pack or whether you want to give more emphasis to growth. In Greece we have done the fiscal part and most of the structural changes. And honestly, I believe that there is no dilemma. We need both. We must certainly keep up with the reform agenda, we must certainly retain our fiscal discipline but at the same time we urgently need to boost growth. And we have to do that in a healthy manner, sustainable manner. And therefore, I believe that, if I can put it on two other words, the Euro zone, the European Union, should address the problem of competitiveness to have growth and make sure we do not lose sight of the basic principles of stability. And I believe, therefore, that stability and growth, we can pursue both of them at the same time. As far as the launching of an E.U. maritime policy in security, growth and energy that I said, a key component is the maritime security strategy and, as I said before, we are protecting all the economic interests of the Union and agreement has been reached on the directive on the maritime spatial planning, which is very important. “Chorotaksiki” in other words planning, which is very important. And a regulation was adopted to finance the actions of the European Maritime Safety Agency, the EMSA, and this is also an important development.