Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Comments from the Dutch Ambassador in Greece

The Greek online magazine Insider Publications recently published an interview with Ambassador Kees van Rij, Dutch Ambassador to Greece.

The interview essentially covers a wide range of issues relevant to Dutch/Greek cooperation, and migration/asylum issues also find their place in the Ambassador’s comments, including EASO:

Visitors of a less fortunate disposition also flock to Greece, and the Netherlands, as a member of the EU, hopes to alleviate the acute problems related to migration. “We can support and assist our Greek partners in taking some of the measure to deal with this. We are quite experienced in verifying the background stories of asylum seekers. But there’s also a need for improving the asylum reception service. Together with other member states we have created the European Asylum Support Office, EASO, we work very closely together with the Ministry of Citizen Protection to make this system function better. Also we have helped Greek border guards and services, particularly on the Evros border, by deploying 20 Dutch experts in the last 4 months along with 200 from other member states in operation Frontex, which is supported by the EU. Our position here is that the Greek external border of the EU is also a Dutch border. These are complex issues, the sudden flux of migrants coming in to Greece and the EU, which you can’t deal with overnight but by cooperating on them we’re getting better and better at it.”

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