Sat. Jun 3rd, 2023

Prague, 25 November 2022

Complicated migration situation across Europe, that was the main topic of the meeting of EU interior ministers, who agreed today on the need to tackle illegal migration together at EU level.

Vít Rakušan, as Interior Minister of the Presidency country, has called an extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels for today, 25 November 2022. The topic was clear: migration. Indeed, illegal migration has increased significantly this year on all migration routes to Europe.

“We have called today’s extraordinary meeting because it is necessary to address migration on all migration routes. As the EU, we must find a way out of this crisis together and be united. We have shown today that we can do it,” said Interior Minister Vít Rakušan.

The interior ministers agreed on the need to adopt both short-term solutions and systemic long-term measures. Short-term solutions, according to Vít Rakušan, include intensified cooperation with third countries in the area of border protection, the fight against smugglers and the return of migrants who are not entitled to asylum. However, the most significant problem for Europe at the moment is the Western Balkan route. In the Western Balkans region alone, there are 14 times more attempts to cross the border this year than in 2019.

“It is necessary for the Western Balkan partners to fulfil their commitments to visa harmonisation and border protection. The EU is ready to support them and it is great that in the recent meeting in Albania we managed to negotiate the first successes,” added Rakušan.

According to the Interior Minister, the long-term and sustainable solution, which the EU cannot do without and which the Czech Presidency is striving for, is the reform of the common migration and asylum policy. „The Czech Presidency is making every effort to reach consensus on the main principles of the reform, which will help us address the situation in a consistent and long-term manner. Our proposals have support and I firmly believe that they will pave the way for the next Presidency to complete the reform,“ the Czech minister said.

The Minister of the Interior also appreciated the efforts of the European Commission and the presentation of an action plan to address the situation on the central Mediterranean migration route and welcomed the Commission’s promise that similar plans would be developed for other routes, notably the Western Balkan route.

The ministers in Brussels once again supported Ukraine, and Vít Rakušan reminded that, in addition to illegal migration, the upcoming winter must be taken into account, due to the ongoing unjustified Russian war against civilians, with the possible influx of new refugees from Ukraine.

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Source – Czech EU Presidency

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