V4 ministers promise stronger cooperation

V4 ministers of interior met to discuss their strategies about the decisions and regulations of the European Commission. Frontex and border control led the debate.

The concept of stronger V4 cooperation was presented by Denisa Saková, the Slovak Minister of Interior after the joint meeting of V4 ministers and Austrian representatives in Bratislava. The idea of European border control and the coordination of police forces sent to the Western Balkans was also discussed at the meeting.

Saková said there was a consensus regarding positive aspects of Frontex: the wider competences and the possibility of cooperation countries outside of the European Union. “The task of Frontex regarding the securing of the outer Schengen borders should only be supportive for individual member states, it shouldn’t replace the individual responsibilities regarding the protection of the states’ own borders,” emphasized the Slovak minister.

Sándor Pintér (Hungary) also pointed out the importance of keeping the sovereignity of member states in relation to border protection, and said Frontex should act in line with local legal procedures. Pintér claimed there was a consensus over stopping immigration at the furthest possible locations from the Schengen borders.

The representatives of the Visegrád Group discussed the desired tasks of Frontex, and considered the importance of the agency in the grand scheme of things. They also formulated a united front which they will represent to the European Commission on the issue.

The second issue of the meeting was the coordination of police forces acting in the Western Balkans. The help they provide should be in line with the affected countries needs, a workgroup should also be arranged on this matter. Pintér claimed that the Balkan states know best, what kind of help they need in the future. The results of the negotiations will be presented in the Salzburg Forum.

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