EU pact on migration mooted

Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and visiting French Minister for Immigration Brice Hortefeux yesterday discussed a blueprint for a common European immigration pact that France plans to promote when it takes over the EU presidency in June. Hortefeux said that the stances of Greece and France on migration «are exactly the same» and praised the new reception center for migrants on Samos for its «top-level standards.» Pavlopoulos said, «Greece has always supported the creation of a common policy for illegal immigration and protecting European borders.» The plan mooted by Hortefeux aims to control illegal immigration and regulate the legalization of immigrants in the EU. If it is enforced, EU countries will not be able to proceed with mass legalization of migrants before consulting with other member states. Agreements for repatriating migrants will be enforced and pressure exerted on countries like Turkey to honor bilateral repatriation pacts. The plan will also set out common criteria for the granting of asylum to refugees.