Von der Leyen in Athens for Med9 summit – focus on climate change, security, migration

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will attend today's Med9 summit in Athens, where the leaders will focus their talks on climate change and environmental protection in the aftermath of Greece's disastrous wildfires that destroyed about 130,000 hectares in August during a heat wave.

Portugal was also besieged by wildfires in 2017 in which over 60 people died nationwide and in which 45,000 hectares of land burned down.

The leaders of Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, as well as Croatia and Slovenia, which were last-minute additions, will be participating.

European Commission President front-and-centre

Although the summit will focus on climate change, environmental protection, and the need for cooperation between the Mediterranean countries in confronting common challenges, another major issues to be discussed is the prospect of a refugee crisis after recent developments in Afghanistan.

The participation of European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen is indicative of the importance that both the government and the EU attach to regional problems and challenges

The session on climate change and its repercussions will take place in the early afternoon.

That will be followed by the EuroMed9 summit in which PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez, Italian PM Mario Draghi, Croatian PM Andrei Plenkovic, Cyprus' President Nicos Anstasiades, Malta's PM Robert Abela, Slovenian PM Janez Jansa, and Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva will participate.

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