President of the Republic of Lithuania

EU leaders agreed to strengthen the fight against illegal migration

2018-06-29

Friday, June 29, Brussels – President Dalia Grybauskaitė is attending the EU summit in Brussels where leaders agreed on further measures to stem illegal migration.

While illegitimate EU border crossings have decreased by 95 percent since October 2015, the problem remains. People smugglers are trying to find new routes to Europe, tensions are rising in EU member states and security risks are raised for the Schengen zone.

Better protection of external borders is emerging as the cornerstone element of EU migration policy. Lithuania has put forward a proposal to create unified EU standards for ensuring that there are no loopholes in land and sea border protection. The EU border control agency Frontex will be reinforced. Taking part in its activities are also Lithuanian experts. Increased resources will be allocated in the next seven-year financial framework - over 30 billion euros - to manage migration and improve border control.

Leaders agreed to increase financial help to countries of migratory transit and origin, including Turkey and African states. A total of 500 million euros will be transferred to the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and additional funding will be provided for the implementation of the agreement on migration between the European Union and Turkey. Lithuania, too, will contribute to these efforts because it is better to help people closer to their homes, instead of waiting for their illegal arrival to Europe. It was agreed to cooperate more actively with Libya and other North African countries in combating human smugglers.

The European Council decided that members states will set up, on a voluntary basis, migrant centers for providing shelter to those saved at sea. Such centers should help to process asylum requests more effectively and speed up the return of irregular refugees. Similar centers will be set up in third countries, too. They would decrease incentives for migrants to risk their lives and could help break the business model of the smugglers.

Lithuania is ready to sign a bilateral agreement with Germany to prevent secondary migration. Lithuania keeps to all of its commitments and takes back those asylum seekers who have moved illegally to another member state. Our country is ready to accelerate the necessary procedures.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.06.29 09:39

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