23 November, 2005
The General Affairs Council convened here on Tuesday, focusing on the shaping of the European Union's strategy in Africa and EU policy on development aid. Greece's positions were outlined by Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis.
Speaking after the Council, Stylianidis said that on the issue of EU strategy in Africa, particular emphasis was placed on preventing illegal emigration from Africa to Europe, the EU's contribution to developing the infrastructures which shall create preconditions for viable development, the handling of AIDS and the development of education.
Stylianidis further said that Greece has expressed its support for peace processes in the region, underlining economic aid through development activities in Africa.
He mentioned that in 2003 Greece had spent 13.66 million dollars for development activities in Africa and 40.46 million dollars in 2004, while an increase in these funds is anticipated for 2005-2006.
The Council ratified a Declaration on the EU's development policy which, following intervention by the Greek delegation as well, anticipates that EU candidate countries can constitute target countries for development aid, with emphasis being placed on Western Balkan and Black Sea zone countries.
Source: Athens News Agency