Press Advisories

24. 9. 2015 23:52

PM Sobotka: I welcome the fact that we have agreed on specific steps which, unlike quotas, will help us to manage the migration crisis

Vyjádření předsedy vlády Bohuslava Sobotky před mimořádným summitem v Bruselu, 23. září 2015.
On Wednesday 23 September 2015, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka attended a special European Council meeting on the migration crisis.
On Wednesday 23 September 2015, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka attended a special European Council meeting on the migration crisis. The informal summit of EU leaders in Brussels found common ground on the steps the European Union would take to tackle the roots of the refugee crisis. European partners also established procedure to streamline European rules on migration. Greater EU financial assistance will be channelled into source countries of migration and into improving conditions for refugees.

Ahead of Wednesday’s special summit, a coordination meeting of the Visegrad Group was convened by the Czech Republic as the country holding the presidency. Prime Minister Sobotka and his counterparts from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary agreed on a joint V4 declaration on long-term migration solutions. The V4 prime ministers then submitted their common position to the EU28 meeting.

After seven hours, the Member States thrashed out Europe’s frontline tasks for the coming months that would help to cope with the migration crisis.

“The Czech Republic, together with the V4 countries, has long called for action delivering a genuine solution to the migration crisis. I am pleased that we have concurred with our European partners on the fastest possible adoption of specific steps,” said Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.

The European partners singled out the renewed protection of the EU’s external borders, including the reinforcement of Frontex and the granting of direct financial and expert support to EU border states, as important. This is precisely what the Czech Republic has previously offered Greece and Italy, and it is poised to repeat this offer of assistance. “From a Czech point of view, the summit touched on priorities such as reinforcing the protection of the EU’s external borders and setting up registration points, as well on assistance for those countries with refugee camps. We discussed the priorities pursued by the Czech Republic since the very beginning of the migration crisis,” noted the Czech Prime Minister.

The final statement of European Union heads of state and government foresees assistance for Member States in the registration of refugees in the country of first entry into the EU with a view to separating legitimate refugees from economic migrants. Hotspots will be established in Italy and Greece by the end of November. Cooperation between the EU28 and Syria’s neighbours hardest hit by the migration crisis – especially Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon – will be intensified. Assistance for Western Balkan countries as they cope with the current wave of refugees will not be overlooked either.

The European partners endorsed the establishment of a special fund of EUR 1.8 billion to tackle the causes of migration in Africa. Aid for the World Food Programme and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will also be increased by EUR 1 billion with immediate effect in a bid to improve the conditions faced by refugees in Syria and the surrounding countries.

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