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PM Cerar in Brussels at an informal meeting of EU leaders on migration and asylum policy

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar has attended an informal meeting of leaders of EU member states on migration and European asylum policy convened by the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The main aim of the meeting was to seek solutions ahead of next weekend's European Council summit. On arriving at the meeting, Mr Cerar stated that it is in Slovenia's interest to address migration issues in a coordinated manner, at the European level, and that Slovenia will play an active part in finding solutions, as it has in the past.

Mr Cerar underlined the great importance for Slovenia of strengthening control of the external borders of the European Union, something that must be supported by various means: personnel, technical and financial. At the same time it is essential to maintain and strengthen cooperation with third countries, be these the countries of origin of migration or transit countries. In the opinion of the Slovenian Prime Minister, the importance of cooperation with the countries of the Western Balkans should not be overlooked, because specific routes for irregular migration, which in the past have been very poorly controlled, can reopen very quickly. "Certain migration flows in this region are already growing, so we must not neglect it while addressing, for example, crisis conditions in the area between Africa and Italy," said Mr Cerar. 

 

The Slovenian Prime Minister also emphasised that Slovenia is calling for an overhaul of the European asylum system that must lead to greater effectiveness and at the same time ensure that the system has a basis in genuine solidarity. "I am determined that no new border controls should be introduced within the Schengen area, even though at this moment some temporary controls are perhaps necessary in places. We should all be working towards eliminating them as soon as possible," he said in a statement to the media. Regarding migration, he explained that Slovenia is implementing a policy that is humane towards those who arrive in Europe and genuinely need help, but at the same time guarantees the security of the Schengen border and of the citizens of Slovenia and the EU. He particularly underlined the fact that solutions in this area must be common solutions that are also acceptable to Slovenia.

 

After the working meeting the Slovenian Prime Minister said that the common thread of discussions had been in line with Slovenia's expectations. "An open and constructive discussion among the leaders of those EU member states most affected by migration pressures is a good basis for the further solutions that we will be discussing and deciding on at the European Council summit this weekend. Given the urgent need for comprehensive, common responses, I emphasised the importance of security and humanity, and the need for concrete activities and assistance for the countries of the Western Balkans," concluded Mr Cerar, summing up his impressions.

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