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Minister Hojs supports Portuguese efforts towards progress on the external dimension of migration

Today, Minister of the Interior, Aleš HOJS, attended the Ministerial conference in Lisbon on the Management of Migration Flows, organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council to strengthen partnerships between the EU and countries of origin and transit and promote legal migration and integration of migrants.

Ministers of Interior Aleš Hojs and Eduardo Cabrita

Ministers of Interior Aleš Hojs and Eduardo Cabrita

In addition to representatives of the EU Member States, the European Commission, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Frontex, the interior ministers of some African partner countries, such as Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Niger and Tunisia, as well as representatives of the international organisations UNHCR, IOM and ICMPD, took part in the conference.

“The external dimension of migration is an essential part of a comprehensive migration policy, which is why we welcome today’s debate and support the Portuguese efforts to move forward in this area,” stressed Mr Hojs, adding that future cooperation with the countries of the southern neighbourhood should be tailored to individual countries. From the EU’s point of view, it is essential to ensure effective return, while ensuring proper reintegration of third-country nationals. “Cooperation with third countries should also cover economic cooperation aimed at providing new employment opportunities in partner countries, thus making an important contribution to development and stability in these countries,” said Mr Hojs, presenting Slovenia’s position. It is also necessary to strengthen legal routes to the EU, thus reducing incentives for irregular migration and system abuse and filling labour needs in the labour markets in the EU Member States. “In return, partner countries must participate in the readmission of their citizens,” concluded Minister Hojs.

On the margins of the conference, Minister Aleš Hojs met with his Portuguese counterpart, Eduard Cabrita. The discussion focused on the negotiations on key home affairs dossiers, such as migration and internal security, which the Portuguese Presidency is intensely conducting. The ministers also touched upon the preparations for the Slovenian Presidency in the area of home affairs. “We are closely following the work of our Portuguese colleagues so that we can continue their work as effectively as possible and prepare as efficiently as possible for the Presidency, which we will take over from Portugal on 1 July 2021,” said Minister Hojs.

Migration and progress in the negotiations on the Pact on Migration and Asylum were also the main topic of the bilateral discussion between Minister Aleš Hojs and his Spanish counterpart, Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez. Appropriate solutions in the negotiations on legislative acts under the Pact on Migration and Asylum are one of the Slovenian Presidency priorities in the area of home affairs. Above all, we will strive for progress in the negotiations on the Regulation on the EU Asylum Agency, which would be exempted from the package. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) urgently needs a new, broader mandate to provide operational support to the Member States," said Minister Hojs. Minister Gómez assured that they would approach the negotiations constructively.