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NEWS

Salzburg Forum Member States: Migration management system needs to be resilient to crisis

On 28 May 2019, a ministerial meeting in the framework of the Salzburg Forum, which is currently chaired by Slovenia, was held in Portorož. The meeting was led by the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia, Boštjan Poklukar. The discussion focused primarily on issues related to migration and border management. The second important topic was other challenges in the area of internal security.

In a statement to the public after the conference, Minister Poklukar said that not only Slovenia, but the whole of Europe has been facing various security challenges. As these challenges cannot be resolved by states acting alone, it is essential that we all connect and cooperate.

 

Following the migration crisis in 2015 and 2016, it has become very clear that the changed circumstances call for urgent changes to the EU’s asylum and migration policies. “The EU Member States have found common ground as regards providing a high level of protection of the EU’s external borders, ensuring more effective return policies, the need to have a stronger response to migrant smuggling and to enhance the Common European Asylum System so that secondary movements and abuse of asylum are better addressed. This is the only way towards a system of migration management that will be resilient in future crisis situations,” said Minister Poklukar.

 

The need to develop a crisis mechanism was also confirmed by the participants. Such a system should be of temporary and voluntary nature and should constitute a complementary act to the reform of the Common European Asylum System. In order to overcome the deadlock, Slovenia has already proposed to apply the Temporary Protection Directive if one or more Member States are confronted with disproportionate pressure. “Today we presented the proposal again and asked the participants for their views. I am particularly pleased that some of the participants have supported this proposal.” At the meeting, the ministers also agreed that, on the basis of today’s discussion, they would try to find a common position of the Salzburg Forum. 

“There was yet another important message highlighted in today’s debate. Several countries called for a return to a normalised functioning of the Schengen area without internal border controls as soon as possible,” said the Minister.

 

The second point of today’s meeting was the future challenges in the field of internal security. The fact is that the security situation is changing rapidly and becoming more complex and requires increasingly sophisticated approaches to crime investigation and crime prevention. “We all agreed that in the coming period the fight against terrorism, organised crime and cybercrime need to remain high on the agenda. These areas are also increasingly intertwined and overlapping, so cooperation is urgently needed. Several pieces of legislation have been adopted at EU level to address these issues, and it is now urgent that these measures be put into practice”, Mr Poklukar said.

 

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In the margins of the meeting, Minister Poklukar also met Dr Sándor Pintér, Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Hungary. They agreed that Slovenia and Hungary were friends and that the relations between the ministries and the police authorities of the two countries are good. They agreed on the continuation of cooperation in concrete projects.

 

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The Salzburg Forum was established in 2000 on the proposal of Austria and was joined by Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Cooperation within the Salzburg Forum focuses on three aspects: strengthening operational cooperation in Central Europe, joint lobbying on EU policy-making and the implementation of the Salzburg Forum’s Common External Strategy, with a particular focus on neighbouring countries.