Hojs attends two-day conference on migrations in Lithuania

Ljubljana – Interior Minister Aleš Hojs attended a two-day conference on migrations in Vilnius on Thursday and Friday, which discussed the issues of using migrations for political gains and common measures to strengthen surveillance at the EU’s external borders in light of increased migrations.

Hojs said that modern surveillance systems and physical barriers should be used where necessary to improve border protection, as they have proven to be a useful measure in the past, the Interior Ministry said in a press release.

Meanwhile, the European Commission’s new proposal on the Schengen Borders Code does not include this type of measures as an option for border control, despite calls from several EU member states.

Hojs expressed surprise over this fact and called on the Commission to reconsider its position on the possibility of funding such technical infrastructure from EU funds.

He further explained Slovenia’s position, saying that “progress needs to be made in different elements of comprehensive migration management in order to achieve the desired impact”.

At the end of the conference, the participants issued a joint statement in which they committed to a common approach to border management, identifying measures for more effective surveillance, and a joint response to possible future challenges.

These commitments were made in order to ensure the highest possible level of security, to preserve the integrity of the Schengen Area and to deal effectively with migration pressures and potential threats, the Interior Ministry said.

The conference was organised by the interior ministers of Austria, Greece, Lithuania and Poland, with European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson in attendance as well.

On the sidelines of the conference, the participants also visited a border control centre and were briefed about the situation on the ground by touring the EU’s external border.