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IntMin Carmen Dan: Schengen – an important topic on the agenda of informal JHA meeting. European Commissioner Avramopoulos calls on EU member states to conclude agreement on asylum system

Minister of Interior Carmen Dan on Thursday stated that Schengen is an important topic on the agenda of the informal meeting of ministers of justice and home affairs.

“Regarding Schengen, we included this important topic on our agenda not only because it is of interest for Romania and Bulgaria, but also because it refers to other important aspects too, such as keeping controls at the internal borders for long periods of time. This is true, Europe has been facing a series of events, and I mean now the numerous terrorist attacks, which endangered the safety of the citizens in some member states, which is precisely why we must find a balance between maintaining security and safety of the citizens in the states exposed to the terrorist risk and the migration pressure and the fundamental value represented by the free movement area,” the Minister of Interior said before the meeting hosted by the Parliament Palace in Bucharest.

In respect to migration, she underscored that the process of completion of the procedures regarding the temporary arrangements must be accelerated.

“I really wish that today’s meeting will improve some solutions that we wish to implement in the next period. The Romanian presidency has already been working on important files related to migration management and border security. We have been facing in the past couple of days a situation regarding the migration ships in the Mediterranean Sea and I believe it is necessary that we speed up the process of completion of the procedures regarding the temporary arrangements. The temporary arrangements are a solution in such crisis situations, a solution based on solidarity and volunteering. Romania has repeatedly voiced its belief that the European Union’s response must be based on these two principles, which is why we agreed to contribute to the joint effort of other states,” said Carmen Dan.

The informal meeting of the justice and home affairs ministers takes place on Thursday and Friday at the Parliament Palace in Bucharest.

 

European Commissioner Avramopoulos calls on EU member states to conclude agreement on asylum system

 

European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos on Thursday called on the EU member states to conclude a comprehensive agreement regarding the European asylum system, so that Europe may be better prepared for future challenges, including migration.

We have to find temporary solutions regarding the migrants’ debarkation, but, at the same time, we need to reach a comprehensive and structured agreement regarding our common asylum system. We’ve done a lot of things on the migration topic. We are not longer at the same point as we were three years ago, but we have to do more in the future, because we don’t know what the future holds for us. Europe should be better prepared for future challenges. As I’ve said, we did a lot, but we can do more in the future. In this sense, we need solid political will from all member states, European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stated upon his arrival at the Palace of Parliament in order to attend the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Ministers of the EU, organised by the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council.

The European official has shown optimism in relation to the files on the agenda of the European home affairs ministers during the Romanian Presidency at the EU Council.

The European elections are getting close, but allow me to say something very important in my view: the upcoming elections shouldn’t paralyse us, but, on the contrary, this is why we are today in Bucharest, we must unite our forces in order to show a solid political will and advance, the high dignitary said. As I said, all the elements are on the table. All the governments are inspired by the same feeling of duty toward our Union. The [European] Commission fulfilled its part of responsibility and it is here to endorse the member states. I am counting very much on the Romanian Presidency to reach an agreement, Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos mentioned.

On the other hand, Dimitris Avramopoulos underscored the necessity to strengthen Schengen, which in the diplomat’s view represents the greatest achievement of all times.

Regarding security, we must work together in order to solve the security issues, especially the online and offline terrorism. We have to do more regarding this matter, it’s what the citizens want from us, the European official added.

Also attending the informal meeting of Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Ministers of the EU are European Commissioner for Security Union Julian King, EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, Chair of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (LIBE) Claude Moraes, Director of Frontex Fabrice Leggeri, Director of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) Michael O’Flaherty and representatives of some European agencies.

After the conclusion of the Home Affairs section of the informal meeting of the JHA Council, Interior Minister Carmen Dan and European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos have scheduled a joint news conference.

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