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Lithuanian and Swedish priorities in the area of home security were discussed

Date

2015 03 03

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Lithuanian and Swedish priorities in the area of home security were discussed
Lithuanian and Swedish priorities in the area of home security were discussed

Today, during the meeting with the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden to Lithuania Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin, Minister of the Interior Saulius Skvernelis discussed the current bilateral contacts in the area of the interior and priorities of further cooperation.

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Minister S. Skvernelis underlined that Sweden is not only a neighbor of Lithuania, but also a close partner in the area of public security. “In today’s changing geopolitical situation, we must be ready for new challenges, be in search for new instruments, particularly while enhancing prevention of crime and possible threats for public security”, – Minister said. 

The Minister and the Ambassador discussed mutually important issues in the area of the interior and possibilities of developing cooperation in the fields of migration and asylum, fight against terrorism and its prevention, fight against cyber crimes and trafficking in human beings.

According to the Ambassador, migration and asylum issues are of particular importance for her country, as Sweden is the second state in the European Union (Germany being the first one) as per number of asylum seekers (in 2014 accepted 81 000 persons). As stated by the Ambassador, new methods and mechanisms of settling problems related to the increasing flows of refugees and asylum seekers should be searched for. And at this point, the joint responsibility of all countries and their participation in the refugee resettlement programmes is of extreme significance.

The participants of the meeting exchanged opinions on the law enforcement systems reforms taking place in both countries as well.

Ambassador C. Ruthström-Ruin made a brief presentation of one of the biggest reforms of the police system during the last decades which is being carried out in Sweden. Its goal is to enhance the efficiency of police activity by means of strengthening leadership of the centre, improving the implementation of the decisions locally and decreasing the number of intermediaries.

The Minister spoke about the challenges in front of the Lithuanian system of the interior. “Our aim is to consolidate all capacities of the interior system services and to make them more efficient. Thus the experience of our neighbors in this area would be very helpful. The process is going on, but we are to direct our efforts towards the results, not the process”, – the Minister said.

According to the Minister, one of the priorities is to improve the Lithuanian migration system and to strengthen the border protection in order to prevent dangerous criminals and persons threatening public security from third countries getting into Lithuania and further – to the European Union. “In our situation, the Lithuanian eastern state border at the same time is the external border of the European Union. And we must do everything to make people both in Lithuania and in European Union feel safe”,   the Minister said. The border protection is strengthened in two directions: as a protection against illegal migration, drugs, weapons, smuggling and as the first state defense line in case of possible threat from outside.

In Minister’s opinion, while ensuring public security, effective information exchange between the countries is of extreme importance, with significant role assigned to Europol and Interpol. 

During the meeting it was agreed to further develop contacts between Lithuanian and Swedish law enforcement institutions both at bilateral and multilateral Northern Europe countries and European Union level, to exchange information and coordinate activities of law enforcement services.

Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Vice-Minister Artūras Norkevičius during the meeting with the Ambassador of Sweden Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin   Ambassador of Sweden Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin and First Secretary of the Swedish Embassy Jenny Kanerva during the meeting at the Ministry of the Interior
Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Vice-Minister Artūras Norkevičius during the meeting with the Ambassador of Sweden Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin 
 
Ambassador of Sweden Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin and First Secretary of the Swedish Embassy Jenny Kanerva during the meeting at the Ministry of the Interior