Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary & Austria to Tackle Illegal Migration Jointly

Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary & Austria to Tackle Illegal Migration Jointly

Bratislava, October 3 (TASR) – Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria want to find solutions to illegal migration together, said Slovak Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OLaNO) following a meeting with his counterparts from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria in Bratislava on Monday.

The four countries intend to take measures in a way that will maintain free movement within the Schengen area. They want to cooperate with the European Commission (EC), with which negotiations are due to be conducted, when targeting illegal migration and are calling for better protection of the Schengen external borders and more active involvement on the part of Frontex. Measures aimed at preventing smuggling should also be harmonised.

“We agreed that the EC, in cooperation with our countries, will negotiate much more intensively with the countries of the Western Balkans in order to address illegal migration where it occurs,” said Mikulec.

In cooperation with the EC, the countries also want to call on Frontex to deploy its available forces, 1,500 people, to the external Schengen border. According to Mikulec, Slovakia also offered Hungary police officers to protect the Hungarian-Serbian border.

Return policy was also a topic of the discussion. “We need to have tools and together we’ll pressure the EC to deal with re-admission agreements with third countries. Because if they don’t work, then bilateral re-admission agreements won’t be effective either. We need to be able to efficiently return migrants, if we catch them in any of our countries, to the country they came from,” pointed out Mikulec.

Checks on the Slovak-Czech border, which the Czech Republic introduced due to a large increase in illegal migration, will probably not end after ten days, stated Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan, emphasising that this isn’t a step aimed against Slovakia.