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EU Ministers Agreed on Further Actions Seeking to Manage Migrant Crisis

Date

2015 09 15

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Lithuanian Minister of Interior Saulius Skvernelis together with Deputy Minister Elvinas Jankevičius have participated in the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 14 September 2015. The meeting was devoted to the European Union's response to the current unprecedented levels of migration and the refugee crisis it is currently facing.

The Extraordinary JHA Council has established a general agreement in principle on the major actions to follow in dealing with the crisis and by large majority of countries confirmed the conclusions of the Council Presidency.

In his remarks after the meeting, Minister Skvernelis stated that together “with the colleagues ministers we accentuated the necessity to strengthen external borders of the Union and enhance the actions of Frontex. Therefore, the Council urged the Commission to draft clear legal proposals in order to strengthen Frontex’s role in EU external borders management”. Minister correspondingly greeted the adoption of formal decision “concerning the mechanism that confirms the relocation within the EU of 40,000 asylum seekers who have arrived in Greece or Italy.”

According to Minister Skvernelis, successful relocation process is inseparable from the full implementation of functioning hotspots that would ensure effective processes of identification and registration altogether with gathering of biometrical data. Furthermore, the hotspots should play a key role in the successful implementation of the common EU return policies.  

During the Extraordinary JHA Council Meeting a large majority of countries have reached an agreement in principle concerning the relocation 120,000 people through a temporary relocation mechanism. The confirmation of final decision is expected in the ordinary JHA Council Meeting the following month in Brussels.

The EU ministers have also reached a decision to take action for a more effective return and readmission policies introduction, which would be formally confirmed in the following meeting of JHA Council. Moreover, the decision to review the EU’s safe countries list was achieved.

In their remarks concerning the roots of migration crisis and the EU’s response to it, the members of the Council emphasized the essentiality of strengthened fight with migrant smugglers groups as the present migration flows are directly linked to the illegal actions of smugglers. Effective actions are vital to solving the issue as according to the statistics produced by Europol, over 1400 investigations were started that identified 29,000 people taking part in the illegal smuggling businesses.