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Van Orden: Greek EU Presidency should cut red tape, open markets & tackle EU’s immigration challenge

26 November 2013

Van Orden: Greek EU Presidency should cut red tape, open markets & tackle EU’s immigration challenge

Ahead of Greece assuming the rotating Presidency of the EU’s Council of Ministers on January 1st, ECR Group Vice-President Geoffrey Van Orden joined the leaders of the European Parliament’s Political Groups at a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister and government to discuss its priorities.

Ahead of Greece assuming the rotating Presidency of the EU’s Council of Ministers on January 1st, ECR Group Vice-President Geoffrey Van Orden joined the leaders of the European Parliament’s Political Groups at a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister and government to discuss its priorities.

Mr Van Orden stressed that the Greek Presidency should prioritise cutting bureaucracy and red tape that hold back productivity, deepening the EU’s Single Market, and accelerating trade agreements with the USA and India. He also hoped that the Greek Presidency might give a fresh impetus to efforts to resolve the 40 year old division of Cyprus.

Speaking after the meeting, he said:

“Greece knows better than anyone the need to put economic competitiveness at the heart of every action the EU takes. The first priority of the Greek Presidency should be to slash the red tape and bureaucracy that reduces productivity, stifles growth and accelerates unemployment. We should be rolling back the interference of the EU in our affairs.

“At the same time we must prioritise completing the EU Internal Market, and moving forward with agreements to open trade with countries like India and the USA. Less red tape and more open markets will help Greece, and the whole of the EU, to recover from our crisis of competitiveness.”

Mr Van Orden said the Greek Presidency offers an opportunity to add a fresh impetus to talks over the issue of Cyprus’s division. He said:

“The Cyprus issue can only be addressed with strong resolve on both sides to reach agreement. I hope that the Greek government will take advantage of its time at the helm to make serious progress on a lasting settlement to this question.”

Finally, Mr Van Orden raised the migration challenges faced by the EU. He said:

“While maintaining the principle of free movement within the Single Market, some of the negative aspects need to be addressed, such as control of access to benefits, prevention of criminals and stronger control of external borders.”

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