#StandWithUkraine Press information
Tieslietu un iekšlietu ministru neformālā sanāksme Briselē

Today, on 25 January, at the informal meeting of ministers of justice and home affairs of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, in a discussion on the temporary protection status of Ukrainian civilians, Minister Rihards Kozlovskis pointed out that Russia's aggression against Ukraine is still ongoing; therefore, it is clear that the EU must seek solutions for a further joint, coordinated, and secure approach to the temporary protection status of Ukrainian civilians.

It should be noted that almost two years have passed since the beginning of the Russian invasion. Although the institutions have worked together and managed to extend the Council decision of 4 March 2022 on granting temporary protection to Ukrainian civilians until 4 March 2025, it is now clear that joint, coordinated, and secure solutions will be required in longer term. I believe that we have to ensure a more stable basis of residence so that Ukrainian civilians who want to build their future in the European Union can integrate into society as independently as possible. Secondly, coordination with the Ukrainian authorities in order to ease the voluntary return of individuals is extremely important,” R. Kozlovskis pointed out.

The Minister also stressed that in Latvia, the number of Ukrainian civilians has stabilized as well as the challenges related to the reception and accommodation of Ukrainian civilians have been successfully overcome. The budget provides for stable funding for the reception and support of Ukrainian civilians.

In the discussion on the EU's external borders, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson emphasized that the Baltic states, Poland, and Finland manage the situation on the eastern external border of the EU in an exemplary manner, and acknowledged that the problem with the deliberate use of migrant flows from Belarus and Russia remains a threat.

This was the first informal justice and home affairs meeting under the Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU. The Belgian presidency has identified the promotion of public-private partnerships to combat drug smuggling as one of its priorities. Drug trafficking by organised crime is one of the most serious threats to the EU security. In view of the scale of this threat and its global spread, the Member States have agreed on united, strong, and sustainable action at the EU and global level.