On Monday 29 February, the President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Georges Dassis, met with the Greek Minister for Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, Georgios Katrougalos. The president briefed the minister on the EESC's initiatives to uphold the Schengen Agreement and regarding the refugee crisis.
Referring more specifically to the recent vote by the EESC plenary assembly, Georges Dassis voiced the opinion that the European Union's borders should not be a matter for Member States alone, but for the European Union itself. At the same time, and still regarding the refugee issue, he stressed that EU provision for refugees must at least comply with the 1951 Geneva Convention, also pointing out that it will be necessary for the refugees to be distributed proportionately among the EU Member States.
Turning to the situation in Greece, both men agreed on the pressing need for an understanding at national level and support for effective social dialogue in order to tackle the problems facing the country.
The minister, Mr Katrougalos, thanked the EESC president and sought the support of the European Economic and Social Committee in areas falling within his ministry's remit.