We are ready and determined to turn the six months of the presidency into a positive experience for us and for the colleagues in the member states and the institutions we work with, Minister of Internal Affairs Carmen Dan told Thursday’s meeting with the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos.
“We see the presidency of Romania at the Council of the European Union as an ambitious and realistic presidency. Ambitious, because we want to make progress on important legislative files, which we want to bring as close as possible to resolution and realism, because we are going through a transitional period, given the European Parliament elections that will take place in May 2019. Even if we have these time limits, I am convinced that we will be able to find solutions and generate beneficial ideas for our citizens,” said Carmen Dan.
The two officials have reviewed several issues of common interest on the European agenda, including migration, the protection of foreign borders, the return, the Common European Asylum System and issues related to the internal security file.
“Regarding the situation of the foreign borders, which in our opinion is one of the most important guarantees for the security of the Union, I pointed out that we have an extremely important file, namely the revision of the regulation on the European Border Police and Coast Guard, where we intend to facilitate the continuation of the discussions. In the security field, we have discussed, inter alia, the information systems interoperability package, one of the priority proposals in this area, for which we want to find the right solutions. Also in this field, we want to continue the efforts made by Austria to prevent the dissemination of terrorist content in the online environment. I appreciate that any exchange of information that will help us to actively and constructively intervene is a real support, given that Romania is considering a unitary, pro- European approach, during its presidency of the EU Council. Today’s meeting is along these lines,” said Carmen Dan.
In his turn, European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the purpose of his visit is to ensure that Romania successfully fulfills its first mandate at the presidency of the EU Council, noting that the most important priority areas to be managed are migration and security.
“Taking over the presidency is an act that holds a lot of responsibility. For our part, we are here to ensure that Romania successfully fulfills its first presidency of the EU Council. The first two areas of interest that we need to address are at the same time the most important burdens we will have on our shoulders during this presidency. I am referring to the issue of migration and security. Ensuring security and better management of migration issues is a top priority for the EU and for the presidency of Romania”, the European Commissioner said.
Dimitris Avramopoulos added that he will work closely with the Romanian minister of internal affairs and the Romanian Presidency to advance the reform of the common asylum system in order to combat abuses, reduce “secondary movements” and to carry out a rapid analysis of the applications of asylum application.
“We need to agree on return procedures. The Commission made proposals in September to speed up the return procedures to prevent the attempts to avoid illegal secondary movements and also to make effective returns respecting fundamental human rights”, the commissioner said.
Avramopoulos said he was in favour of Romania’s joining the Schengen area.
As to ensuring security in the EU area, Dimitris Avramopoulos said that concrete and operational support must be provided to the EU member states to meet the challenges in this area.