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Pact on Migration and Asylum: Presidency committed to bringing Member States even closer together

13 Mar · 12h30

© Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / Pedro Sá Bandeira

With regard to the Pact on Migration and Asylum, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union has committed itself to “bringing the positions of the Member States closer together” by the end of the present six-month period.

 

The Portuguese Minister for Home Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, who chaired the informal videoconference of Home Affairs Ministers yesterday, reports that there is “progress” in the negotiation between the 27, emphasising the commitment of the Portuguese Presidency and the European Commission to finding a “balance between responsibility and solidarity” in the external aspect of migration and the relationship with third countries.

“ Every country now agrees that the measures necessary to control the external borders, that is, the responsibility, should be shared, and that there should also be a general principle of solidarity, even if, in practice, it is flexible. ”

Eduardo Cabrita, Portuguese Minister for Home Affairs

Eduardo Cabrita added that the Member States have made advances “on the technical level” in many of the dossiers that make up this agenda, for example, the regulation on the European Asylum Support Office, and that they are “very close to an overall agreement on the new asylum regulations”. Debate on these matters will continue into next week, when the Foreign Affairs Ministers and those holding the Home Affairs portfolios are to have a meeting.

Strengthening co-operation with North Africa

The proposal for a programme of closer cooperation between the EU and North African countries “earned lively support” at this meeting of Home Affairs Ministers. Eduardo Cabrita declared that this priority of the Portuguese Presidency includes the establishment of a “privileged relationship with the countries that are our closest neighbours” in aspects such as civil protection, police co-operation and co-operation in the area of respect for fundamental rights.

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Eduardo Cabrita, Portuguese Minister for Home Affairs © Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021 / António Pedro Santos/LUSA