Meeting of Interior Ministers from the Visegrad Group and Austria in Budapest
The current migration situation in the Western Balkans and issues regarding borders management in Europe - these were the topics of the meeting of the Visegrad Group’s Interior Ministers (V4) that was held on Tuesday (26 June) in Budapest. The meeting was attended, apart from Minister Joachim Brudziński and Deputy Minister Renata Szczęch, by heads of Interior Ministries from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary (V4) and also from Austria.
- Today's meeting was very fruitful - we summed up the Hungarian presidency, we listened to a presentation of the forthcoming V4 Slovak presidency as well as to the Austria's plans regarding its presidency in the EU Council – stressed Minister Joachim Brudziński after the meeting.
Migration situation in the Western Balkans was one of the topics discussed by the participants of the meeting. Main migration routes to the European Union lead through this part of the continent – Ministers reminded that direct aid to the countries in this region is still necessary. Such a declaration was also adopted by the heads of government of the V4 countries and Austria at the meeting held on 21 June in Budapest. As Minister Joachim Brudziński stressed, joint bilateral and multilateral operations curried out by officers form the Western Balkans together with delegated officers from other countries, constitute today the best form of cooperation. Cooperation since 2016 between Polish and Macedonian services at the Macedonian-Greek border is one of such examples. Operations in the Western Balkans should be also supported by Frontex.
Head of the Polish Interior Ministry underlined during the meeting that according to Poland, migration policy should be a priority. That is why our country undertakes actions aiming at reaching agreement concerning the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) reform. According to Minister Joachim Brudziński, regaining total control over migratory flow within the EU should be a common task of the countries. As he added, Poland supports the proposals that will result in reducing uncontrolled inflow of migrants through tightening of asylum procedures, reinforcement of sanctions against migrants and linking the Common European Asylum System with borders protection. - The approach towards migrants, adopted since the very beginning by the Visegrad Group, has turned out right and the goals that we then set prove that V4 countries have been right in this dispute.
Representatives of the Visegrad Group countries as well as Austrian Interior Minister stressed that strengthening the protection of the external borders and operations outside the EU (in the migrants’ countries of origin and transit countries) are crucial as far as migration policy is concerned. These actions will result in creating permanent solutions and resistance to potential crisis situations connected to migration in the future. - The voice of Slovakia and Austria is of great importance to me, because once again it underlines the adequacy of all those efforts aiming at protecting the EU from the uncontrolled inflow of migrants. As it was underlined, strengthening efforts towards complex support for migrants in their regions of origin is essential. In recent years Poland has considerably increased its support in this regard.
The participants of the meeting summed up, i.a., the Hungarian presidency in the V4. Next year (from July 2018 – June 2019) the presidency will be held by Slovakia, that is why the plans for the Slovak presidency were outlined in Budapest. Also the agenda for the Austrian presidency in the EU Council (from July to December 2018) was put forward during the meeting.