Katrougalos: Europe must overcome asymmetry in social protection versus fiscal discipline

Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos called for a “social deepening” of European integration, saying this was the only way to restore people’s confidence in the process, while speaking at the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels on Tuesday.

According to a foreign ministry announcement, Katrougalos noted that “a prerequisite for Europe’s future is to overcome the asymmetry between social protection and fiscal discipline, the economic and social dimensions of European integration.”

Katrougalos welcomed the activation of enhanced cooperation in the defence sector (PESCO) because it promotes the autonomy of European defence policy and the EU’s role as global actor. He also pointed to a need to upgrade the ability to manage crises in non-military fields, such as hybrid threats and the protection of land and sea borders.

Referring to migration, Katrougalos said that migrant flows in Eastern Mediterrenean do not have a seasonal character and should be addressed as a European problem, rather than a problem for the member-states directly affected. This required a new asylum policy that will distribute the burdens of migration fairly, he said.