Minister of the Interior Mr. E.Misiūnas is attending a ministerial Forum in Norway to discuss external land border management

Date

2019 05 21

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Lithuanian Minister of the Interior Mr. Eimutis Misiūnas in Norway is attending the annual meeting of the Ministerial Forum of the Member States of the Schengen Area with External Land Borders. 

The Forum was established and had its first meeting back in 2013 at the initiative of Finland. It is currently comprised of nine Schengen Member States - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Finland and Hungary. Ministerial meeting is organized once every year by a different Member State. 

This year on May 20-22, the Ministers are gathering in Norway, which took over the presiding role from Lithuania, organizer of the last year’s Forum. The ministerial meeting will take place in the town of Kirkenes situated in the far north-eastern part of Norway, near the land border with Russian Federation. 

Participants will have the opportunity to visit and observe the functioning of the land border crossing point between Norway and Russia as well as other border control facilities and infrastructure. Afterwards they will sit together to discuss the common challenges that they are facing today as Schengen members responsible for securing and managing the external land border of the entire Schengen area.

The main topics that will be on the table for discussion this year include challenges connected to illegal immigration and fight against cross border crime, preparations to implement the recently amended European border and coast guard regulation and the role of the European Standing Corps, to which all member states will have to contribute their officers. Another important topic is the development of various European IT systems for border management and security and solutions to ensure their interoperability, especially the challenges that Members states are facing with implementation process on national level. 

The members of the Forum will sign a joint statement representing their common view on the challenges discussed and actions needed to address them. The statement will then be published, distributed and  presented to all EU member states and relevant EU institutions. This helps to draw attention to the common needs of the Member states with external land borders and ensure that they are taken into account when relevant decisions are being made at the EU level.