In the context of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Frontex Management Board and the border police directors of the Western Balkan countries helds a virtual meeting today to discuss the challenges in managing migration and maintaining security in the region.
“The Western Balkans is a political and strategic priority for Slovenia,” said the President of the Home Affairs Council and Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs, in his video address and went on to emphasise the importance of close cooperation: “It is crucial that EU member states enhance police cooperation with our partners in the Western Balkans, but it is equally important that we work to strengthen the role of EU agencies, including Frontex, in operational activities across the region.”
In his address, the minister highlighted the issue of migration, which requires joint action and mutual trust. “The Western Balkans is undoubtedly a priority partner. But I would like to stress that cooperation must be reciprocal and that each partner must contribute its fair share.” The minister called on the Western Balkan countries to conclude the status agreements as soon as possible, as they are a prerequisite for Frontex’s operational assistance.
As part of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Slovenia will be hosting an EU-Western Balkans Justice and Home Affairs ministerial meeting at Brdo pri Kranju in early December, which will be an opportunity for the EU and the Western Balkan partners to adopt joint political commitments on migration management.