Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Ministers at the joint meeting on the importance of external aspects of migration
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar and Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs today attended a joint virtual meeting of EU Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs Ministers. The purpose of the session was to make progress in negotiating the pact on migration and asylum in the context of external aspects of migration, which is an important pillar of the European Union’s comprehensive migration policy. The ministers were in firm agreement that the underlying causes of migration should be addressed and partnership with third countries should be established. Progress is also needed with regard to the return and readmission of migrants.
Foreign Minister Logar welcomed the efforts to intensify the debate on external aspects of migration policy. It is essential to eliminate the underlying causes of migration and establish comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnerships with third countries. Minister Logar also stated that regular political dialogue with third countries is crucial and advocated that the European Union’s activities should, among others, focus on creating new employment opportunities, which will not only contribute to sustainable economic development but also the security and stability of the countries of origin. Coordination and cooperation between Union actors in third countries are important, not least because of returns and readmission.
Interior Minister Hojs stressed that “from the internal affairs perspective, enhanced cooperation with key third countries is of the utmost importance” and called for the dialogue to be adapted to the specific needs of partner countries so that they can be addressed comprehensively.
As for irregular migration, cooperation with the Southern Neighbourhood is essential because these countries are often both the countries of origin and areas where other forms of criminality take place. “In order to mount a successful response to these threats, close police cooperation with North Africa should be established to facilitate the exchange of operational information, following the example of the effective liaison with the Western Balkan countries,” said Minister Hojs. This could lead to improved cooperation in return and readmission because most problems are currently encountered when verifying and checking persons’ identity and issuing documents. As Minister Hojs has reiterated on several occasions, a common EU approach and effective coordinated action between different EU migration officials operating in the field in third countries are essential to facilitate the return of migrants.