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Minister Hojs on the Pact on Migration and Asylum: We must first focus on efficient EU returns policy and provision of adequate living conditions in the third countries, only then can we discuss relocation

Minister Hojs has participated in the videoconference summit of the Council of Ministers of the interior.

Minister Hojs with co-workers coworkers sitting around the table during the session
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Ministers dedicated the discussion to the new Pact on Migration and Asylum presented by the European Commission in late September. German presidency was eager to learn if ministers agree that progress on the new reform of the asylum and migration should be achieved gradually, step by step, and see if it can count on support in reaching political consensus regarding the Pact's key issues: screening procedure at the border prior to entry into EU, prevention of misuse of the asylum system and the solidarity principle.    

Minister Hojs expressed his support for the new Pact on Migration and Asylum, which we believe will contribute to improvement of the situation in the field of migration. Even if Slovenia is still carefully reviewing all the documents that constitute the Pact, we believe the Pact is a good foundation for future what may very likely be demanding negotiations. »A lot of questions arose following the first quick review, questions that must be answered in order for measures to work in practice«.

»Our first step must be to achieve a political agreement at the highest level on the key elements of the pact, in particular on the new solidarity mechanism and elements of responsibility in the form of the new screening procedures and procedures at the border, « the Minister said, adding »At the same time, the working bodies should start working on legislative proposals as soon as possible«.

On the subject of priority treatment of certain dossiers, Slovenian Minister agreed with the presidency that on the EU-level, there should be attempts to first reach agreements with those that progress has already been achieved in the past. »I am mostly referring to the proposal of the regulation on the European Union Agency for Asylum, which will equip the EASO agency with the necessary tools to support the member states. «  

Slovenia believes that tighter management of external EU borders and even more importantly, European returns policy, are essential for an all-round migration policy. »We should put more focus on efficient EU returns policy and help establish adequate living conditions in the third countries, only then can we begin talks on relocation.« Minister supported the proposal on efficient procedures on borders, which include protection for those who need it as well as rapid return of persons who are not entitled to protection. This will have a major impact on the credibility of the entire system of international protection.

In order to reach agreements sooner, Slovenian Minister supported German presidency’s proposal for another ministerial meeting in November. He concluded by assuring that the Republic of Slovenia will engage constructively in negotiations and contribute its best efforts to reaching compromise solutions as soon as possible.

The second part of the summit is to be dedicated to European Police partnership, a German initiative that has been supported by Slovenia. Cooperation in the field of policing requires upgrading, if we wish to ensure continued successful protection of citizens. Solutions for more efficient exchange of information, use of AI in policing, and closer cooperation with partners across the globe, must be introduced without further delay. Current situation with COVID-19 pandemics has shown that we need communications solutions and practical tools here and now. Slovenia agrees with future steps proposed by the presidency and is hoping to see first concrete results of the partnership in the upcoming year or two. 

Ministers are also to address a brief item on cooperation with third countries, particularly countries in North Africa and Western Balkans.