Hojs, Nouris discuss Ukraine war, migration pact

Ljubljana – Interior Minister Aleš Hojs and his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Nouris discussed in Ljubljana on Friday the war in Ukraine and its consequences. They stressed the importance of managing migration at the EU level. They also spoke of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, where Slovenia advocates flexible solidarity.

The ministers agreed that the Ukraine war and its consequences demand great attention and coordinated action among EU countries. Slovenia has been showing solidarity with concrete actions, including humanitarian aid, diplomatic support and activation of temporary protection for displaced persons from Ukraine, Hojs said.

“We must manage this migration challenge together and with appropriate and coordinated response at the EU level – primarily with regular exchange of information, coordinated transferring of refugees, setting up of a single European system for registering persons with temporary protection at the EU level, providing of funds and higher flexibility in drawing EU funds.

“We must also not forget about the security aspect and better protection of the EU’s external borders,” Hojs said.

Apart from the Ukrainian migration crisis, many EU countries, especially Cyprus, are still faced with previous migration challenges, the ministers warned. In this context, Slovenia supports the efforts of the French presidency in negotiations on the pact on migrations and asylum.

The EU needs a strong common migration and asylum policy, with a right kind of balance between responsibility and solidarity. Slovenia advocates a quick adoption of the Eurodac decree and a decree on checks external borders, the Interior Ministry said in a press release.

“We advocate flexible solidarity with a wide range of measures such as financial and operative support and support of EU agencies. As for alternative forms of solidarity, we believe that any contribution that meets the needs of the recipient and will contribute to reducing the migration pressure makes sense,” the Slovenian minister said.

He also pointed to the unsatisfactory returning of migrants and called for a stronger role for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).