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State Secretary Ružička on Migration with Austrian Presidency Delegation

State Secretary Ružička on Migration with Austrian Presidency Delegation

21.11.2018 | Aktivity štátnych tajomníkov

The delegation of the Austrian Presidency (AT PRES) led by Andrä Rupprechter, Envoy for Dublin Regulation, is visiting individual EU member states in these weeks to search for areas of common interest in the context of the talks on the Common European Asylum System reform.  Rupprechter’s team was received today (21 November) at the Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Ministry by František Ružička, State Secretary of Slovakia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Migration Office of the Slovak Republic.

 

Ružička welcomed the AT PRES initiative as an additional activity to deepen the dialogue and make efforts to approximate the positions of individual EU member states in this politically sensitive matter. The issue of uncontrolled migration threatens the normal functioning of the Schengen Area as one of the concrete and tangible advantages of the European Union for its citizens. In this regard the State Secretary conveyed to his counterpart the unequivocal readiness of Slovakia to be a constructive and responsible partner in the negotiations. “Slovakia is ready to continue to provide solidarity in various ways, whether by sending experts to the EU agencies, where our experts might help with speeding up the asylum process, for example, or by sharing accommodation capacities with other member states which have large numbers of asylum seekers. We realize the pressure which the countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea face and understand how difficult it is to provide for the protection of thousands of kilometers of the coastline. We want to help them, but at the same time I must add that we also have our firm lines that we cannot cross,” stated Ružička. Slovakia’s position on the mechanism of mandatory quotas remains unchanged, and Slovakia refuses the idea of setting numbers on how many migrants it should accept.
 

 

Both partners agreed that it is necessary that the new system be based on a responsible attitude, the principle of voluntarism and foreseeability, and that its funding should be bound to the currently ongoing talks on the European multiannual financial framework. Rupprechter assured Slovakia that the objective of the talks is not to promote one position but to attentively listen to individual opinions and to search for areas of agreement.  After finalizing the bilateral meetings with other member states, the Austrian Presidency will summarize them, and Chancellor Kurz will introduce the outcomes to other leaders at the December European Council.