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Minister Aleš Hojs pays a working visit to Malta

The Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, met with the Maltese Minister for Home Affairs, Byron Camilleri, in Malta today, as part of preparations for the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Meeting at the Maltese Interior Ministry

The Ministers discussed the plans and priorities of the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU in the area of home affairs in the second half of the year. “We will channel our efforts into finding appropriate solutions in the negotiations on legislative acts that form part of the Pact on Migration and Asylum as well as focus on strengthening the Schengen Area,” Minister Hojs told his Maltese counterpart. The Ministers agreed that the right way to address illegal migration is to adopt a comprehensive EU-level approach to migration management. "It has been demonstrated again that NGOs contribute to more migrant arrivals, which needs to be stopped," Mr Hojs said.

“We will strive to ensure a high level of security across the EU, which we want to achieve by enhancing police cooperation and information exchange.” One of the most important legislative instruments where we want to see progress is the revised Europol Regulation, which Slovenia supports. Regionally, our focus will be on the Western Balkans, where we will strive to enhance police cooperation, especially as regards the prevention and investigation of child sexual abuse and missing persons.

“I am pleased that Minister Camilleri expressed his support for Slovenia’s efforts and said that Malta would be a constructive partner in the negotiations during our Presidency,” Minister Hojs said.

The Ministers also discussed the cooperation between the Maltese authorities and the European Asylum Support Office – EASO, which is based in Malta. They agreed that the Member States should waste no time in adopting a legal basis that would transform the Office, which provides operational support to Members States in the area of asylum, into an EU agency with a strengthened mandate.

This was also the main topic at the meeting with the Executive Director of EASO, Nina Gregori. The Office, which has a presence in the worst-affected Member States, provides assistance with registration, personal interviews, disembarkation and relocation. The Minister expressed his support for the activities of EASO as the Office significantly contributes to the harmonization of asylum procedures across Member States, prepares expert assessments of countries of origin, and organises high-level training for asylum officials from Member States. “This is why Slovenia supports the proposal to transform the Office into an EU Agency for Asylum and has made it one of our priorities during the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU.”

Minister Aleš Hojs and Executive Director of European Asylum Support Office Nina Gregori

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