Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, G. Katrougalos, attends meeting of EU General Affairs Council (20 November 2017)

In the context of his participation in the EU General Affairs Council, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Katrougalos, underscored the need to deepen the european integration process, stressing that it would be wrong to see the crisis of european ccitizens’ confidence in the European Union as having been overcome.

“While a number of steps have been taken since the height of the crisis in 2016,” Mr. Katrougalos added, “the structural problems that led to the crisis, including the imbalance between the social and economic dimensions of integration and the democratic deficit in economic governance, remain unresolved.” For this reason, he welcomed the establishment of the new Social Rights Pillar at the Gothenburg Summit, making the observation that it is vital we see its real implementation and the establishment of binding social rights for all.

Mr. Katrougalos welcomed the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), calling it an important step towards strengthening the autonomy of the Common European Defence Policy for the protection of european citizens against external threats, and towards the enhancement of the Union’s global role.

Finally, the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed the need to strengthen the European Union’s cultural actions for the promotion of the common European values. For this reason, he underscored the need to boost funding for the “Erasmus+” programme and to promote new actions aimed at helping vulnerable groups and young people to gain easier access to culture.

Also discussed in the General Affairs Council was the progress in the Brexit talks and, during the luncheon, the Union’s budget.

In the afternoon there will be a vote on the relocation of the European Organizations based in the United Kingdom. Athens is a candidate city for hosting the relocated European Medicines Agency.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic

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