During the meeting of the EU General Affairs Council, held today via video conference due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis stressed the urgent need for joint coordination regarding the European vaccination certificate. Moreover, he briefed his counterparts on Turkey’s provocations and illegal activity in the Aegean.
In the context of preparing for the extraordinary Summit to be held on 25 and 26 February, Mr Varvitsiotis referred to the Greek Prime Minister’s relevant proposal for a European vaccination certificate and called on his counterparts to accelerate procedures, particularly in view of the start of the tourism period. After noting that ten countries have already created a vaccination certificate, he underlined that “it would be a tremendous setback for the EU if no agreement on the content and use of the certificate is reached”.
With regard to the progress of vaccinations in the EU, the Alternate Minister stressed that “the pressure being exerted on the companies providing the vaccines seems to be working, and we would like to see the Commission take swift action with all other companies ready to provide vaccines, so that there will be no supply gaps in the future”.
Furthermore, in the context of the discussion on the Common Security and Defence policy and relations in the ‘Southern Neighbourhood’ to be addressed during the Summit Meeting, Mr Varvitsiotis briefed his counterparts on Turkey’s provocations in recent days, in both words and deeds, through the issuance of a new Turkish NAVTEX and the activities of the ‘Çeşme’ survey vessel in the Aegean. He noted, in fact, that, the EU must take stock of the increased tension originating from Ankara, in view of the March Summit.