The Interior Minister Aleš Hojs hosted the Interior Minister of the Czech Republic Jan Hamáček for a two-day official visit. The key focus of their talks was the current situation in security and migration and the progress regarding the priorities of Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The priorities are the establishment of a well-functioning Schengen area, the strengthening of EU’s external border protection, integrated migration management and a high level of security in the EU and Slovenia. Our regional priority is the Western Balkans, where our key focus is on stronger police cooperation, particularly in the prevention of child sexual abuse. Minister Hojs opened by noting: “Our priorities remain the same, and we will continue to work on them even though the recent events at the EU’s external border with Belarus and in Afghanistan shifted our focus towards issues that required immediate and coordinated response.” The Czech minister welcomed Slovenia’s efforts and agreed with Minister Hojs on the importance of unity among EU member states, which is reflected in the unanimous Statement on the situation in Afghanistan adopted by home affairs ministers in late August.
The ministers also had a discussion on the important topic of migration. The Minister said: “Progress in establishing an integrated migration and asylum management system in the EU and cooperation with partner countries are at the heart of our Presidency.” At the July informal meeting of home affairs ministers in Brdo pri Kranju, ministers demonstrated political will for a gradual progress in forming a common EU migration policy as they addressed dossiers that are not related to the most sensitive issues in the pact, such as the Eurodac regulation. However, member state positions are still diverging on the issue of responsibility and solidarity, which complicates the negotiations on the legislative acts under the migration and asylum pact presented by the European Commission in autumn 2020. Negotiations on the legislative proposals under the pact are intensively taking place at expert level, Hojs told his fellow minister Hamáček.
The interior ministers visited Slovenia’s southern border where they met with Slovenian and Czech police officers who perform joint patrols on the Slovenia-Croatia border. Minister Hojs thanked his Czech counterpart for help and meanwhile said that Slovenia and the Czech Republic are friendly countries and that the two police forces cooperate well in border surveillance. They expressed their common ground on the importance of preventing any sudden mass movements of migrants into the EU or pressure on the EU’s external borders. The Slovenian Minister added: “We can stop such events only if we prepare well and exercise caution when making statements that may encourage irregular migration,” stressing that stronger surveillance of the EU’s border means security and stability for the EU.
On the occasion, the two ministers also met with Prime Minister Janša, who presented the Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček with a Government certificate of appreciation in recognition of the assistance that the Czech Government provided to Slovenia in containing the Covid-19 epidemic.