On 20-21 January, Minister of the Interior M.Golubeva and State Secretary Dimitrijs Trofimovs participated in the European Conference on Border Management that took place in Vilnius, Lithuania. The conference was organised by Austria, Greece, Lithuania and Poland.
This event was held as a response to incidents of orchestrated attempts to use irregular migration for political purposes. By bringing together the European Commission, representatives of Frontex, Fundamental Rights Agency, Home Affairs Ministers from EU Member States and Schengen Associated Countries, the Conference provided a forum for exploring possibilities, tools and measures to scale up efforts for tackling such phenomena and prevent future crises.
The goals of this Conference were raising awareness on recent developments and challenges in the area of border management, including the malicious instrumentalisation of migration for political purposes by certain third countries, and reflecting on the revision of the Schengen Border Code, as well as on needed changes in the EU legal framework in the area of asylum. The discussions will be summarized in a Joint Statement to be issued by the participating States.
During this event, minister stressed that EU solidarity is of utmost importance and Latvia appreciates the recognition of Belarusian hybrid activities and the support given by the Member States and EU institutions.
Minister M.Golubeva stated that Joint and coordinated action at the EU level is a must to respond appropriately to this aggression. However, an appropriate EU response is not possible within the framework of existing migration instruments. We need new tools in order to avoid rather than deal with grave consequences of overburdened migration management systems and exhausted accommodation capacities, eventually corroding public’s trust in our ability to act decisively when needed. Latvia welcomes Commission’s new proposal to amend the Schengen Borders Code and its core elements, aimed to improve the protection of EU’s external borders and security within the Schengen Area. We particularly welcome the rules regarding the EU response to instrumentalisation of migrants by third countries and the wider scope of border surveillance. In our view when adopted this would provide us with much needed tools to counteract in situations Latvia experiences now."