|Vassilios Costis, ambassador of Greece to China, introduces the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2014, Jan. 17, 2014. (People's Daily Online/Du Mingming)|
Outgoing EU ambassador positive about future EU China relations
Greece will focus on four priorities: growth and jobs; European Union and Euro zone integration; migration, boarders, and mobility; and maritime policy during its 2014 EU presidency, said Vassilios Costis, Greek ambassador to China, in Beijing, Jan. 17, 2014.
Greece officially assumed the European Union (EU)'s rotating Presidency for the first half of 2014 on January 8 in Athens.
Costis said that the EU shall deal with recession and unemployment brought by economic and financial crisis through both economic growth and by guaranteeing the stability of the common currency.
"Our presidency will promote policies and priorities by the current European realities and the pressing needs of European citizens," Costis said.
Growth and job creation
The EU will focus on promoting growth both in policies and policies concerning everything of economic recovery. For instance, enhancing lending to small and medium-sized enterprises, and furthering implementation of multiannual financial framework.
European Union and euro zone integration
The Greek presidency is aiming to promote the progress of the creation of the banking union. "The banking union is the corner stone for the furthering of euro zone and European union integration," Costis said.
Migration, boarders, and mobility
The Lampedusa tragedy that led to the deaths of 274 people in Italian waters marks a turning point for Europe. The EU will try to deal with problems and issues related by enhancing and integrating legal migration, preventing and combating illegal migration, to coordinate and protect the external borders.
The furthering of the integrated European Union maritime policy
Maritime policy runs through the above mentioned priorities. "Seas and oceans are drivers for the European economy and in many aspects, especially concerning growth and security," Costis said.
"The current presidency's priorities illustrated well our common goals, what citizens care most about, namely, jobs, a growing economy, strong banks in the euro zone, and security of our common boarders," Costis concluded.
Italy will take over the presidency over the Council on July 1, 2014.