President of the Republic of Lithuania

European Council: additional measures to manage the migration crisis

2015-12-17

Thursday, December 17, Brussels – President Dalia Grybauskaitė is attending the European Council to consider a proposal to set up a European Border and Coast Guard which will help to ensure an effective response to the migration crisis.

“Effective protection of the EU’s external borders is key to managing the chaotic process of migration. A new European Border and Coast Guard will help Lithuania and other EU countries to strengthen border controls and ensure the security of their people and the Schengen area. This is an important step forward in overcoming the refugee crisis,” the President said.

Dalia Grybauskaitė emphasized that the new agency had to supplement rather than replace national efforts to protect their borders as it is the sovereign right and duty of each and every state. Decisions on the deployment of European border guards must be taken only with the consent of the member state concerned or at its request.

With the European Border and Coast Guard in place, standby EU border guard forces will be established. They could also be rapidly deployed in EU countries facing difficulties in ensuring border protection.

Lithuania is already helping other EU member states to protect their borders. Our border guards work in Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and Hungary, assisting with controlling migration flows.

The President stressed that the previously agreed measures were being implemented too vaguely and slowly. EU member states have agreed to resettle 160 thousand refugees; however, only 0.1 percent has been resettled so far. Only two out of eleven registration centers are operating in Greece and Italy. The return of economic migrants to their home countries is also flawed. Therefore, it would be very irresponsible to talk about new commitments until previous decisions to tackle the migration crisis are carried out.

Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Last updated 2016.01.07 10:21

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