At a meeting in Brussels, the interior ministers of the EU members advocated for the renewal of the procedures for the temporary abolition of the visa-free regime for third countries, said the Swedish Minister of Migration, Maria Malmer Stenergard.
Ministers discussed the future of visa policy within the framework of the Schengen Council, which also includes members of the Schengen area that are not in the EU, she said. Malmö Stenergard. According to her, they focused on the criteria for introduction visa-free regime for third countries and procedures for the suspension of such regime in the event of abuse.
“I can summarize from the discussion that among the ministers there was full support for the renewal of the mechanism for withholding exemption from the visa obligation, so that the EU could respond to abuses,” said the Swedish minister, whose country currently holds the EU Council presidency.
She welcomed the announcement of the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylve Johanssonthat she will prepare a legislative proposal for the renewal of this mechanism.
At the press conference after the session, Johansson emphasized that it will take some time, but that she is ready to start drafting legislation.
According to her, it is high time to start a discussion on this, since last year 20 percent of the million asylum applications in EU member states were filed by people who did not need a visa to arrive. “It’s an abuse of the system,” the commissioner was clear.
Slovenian Permanent Representative to the EU Iztok Jarc at the meeting, he stood for clearer criteria, and above all, the possibility of quickly suspending the exemption from the visa obligation when abuses occur, the Ministry of the Interior announced.
“A well-functioning visa policy of the European Union and its consistent implementation is a fundamental condition for ensuring the good functioning of the Schengen area,” said Ambassador Jarc, who replaced the Minister of the Interior at the meeting Boštjan Poklukar.
According to the Swedish minister, the members agree that the challenges in the field of migration must be dealt with comprehensively. Operational measures in the external dimension of migration must be strengthened, while the adoption of the Pact on Migration and Asylum must be continued.
Commissioner Johansson said in this regard that almost all ministers have expressed their commitment to the need to make sufficient progress to adopt the entire pact before the end of the mandate next year.
At today’s meeting, Ambassador Jarc once again drew attention to the control that Austria carries out on the border with Slovenia.
“This control does not achieve its purpose, as we can see in practice, and the border population, daily migrants and tourists are especially affected. So mostly our citizens,” he said. He called on the European Commission, as the guardian of EU treaties, to take immediate action, also on behalf of other affected countries.