Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is attending the 6th South EU Summit, held in Valletta, Malta on Friday, where the government leaders of Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain will convene to discuss both regional and global issues.
They are expected to discuss changes in the leadership of the European Union, Turkey's relationship with the EU and its illegal actions in Cyprus' EEZ, the EU's expansion in the western Balkans, and developments in the Middle East, with emphasis on Libya. Other issues include the refugee crisis and the Multiannual Financial Framework of the European Union for 2021-2027. Climate change will also be discussed at the summit.
Alexis Tsipras is expected to emphasize the importance of the implementation of the Prespes Agreement in stability and prosperity in Southeast Europe, and will also support the speedy start of EU accession negotiations for the Republic of North Macedonia, in recognition of the important reform efforts of Greece's neighboring government.
He is also expected to stress the importance of Ankara's respect for good neighborly relations and international law as important prerequisites in EU-Turkish relations. He is also expected to support jointly with the President of the Republic of Cyprus the EU's strict warnings to Turkey concerning its recent unauthorized actions in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone.
Tsipras will also underline the need for a sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue. With regard to the refugee crisis, Tsipras is expected to emphasize the need for a European, collective solution based on co-responsibility and solidarity, with respect for international law. He is also expected to underline that all proposals concerning the reform of the Common European Asylum System are interlinked and that there can be no talk of solidarity without the balanced redistribution of asylum seekers among member states.
The Greek premier is also expected to highlight the need for an ambitious and well-funded EU budget for the 2021-2017 period, in order to achieve the greatest possible integration and social cohesion. He added however that new research and innovation policies and the management of the migration crisis should not ignore the traditional EU policies of political solidarity and common agricultural policy.
On climate change, Tsipras will support an approach to reducing greenhouse gases and the increased use of renewable energy sources. Finally, he will highlight the need for rapid implementation of the newly set up European Rescue Mechanism (RescEU), which will significantly assist EU member-states in dealing with natural disasters, especially fires.