Saturday, May 18, 2024

German minister praises Romania’s efforts on EU asylum cooperation

The increasing number of smugglers’ boats arriving in Cyprus and Crete is currently a cause for concern for the interior ministers of the EU member states.

• April 16, 2024

Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, has praised Romania’s efforts toward European solidarity on asylum issues as part of its bid to join the Schengen zone fully.

“I would like to express my gratitude for the good cooperation in this area,” the minister said after talks with her Romanian counterpart, interior minister Cătălin Predoiu, in Bucharest on Tuesday.

Germany is supporting Romania and Bulgaria, where Ms Faeser visited the border with Turkey on Monday. These countries are endeavouring to join the Schengen zone fully, Europe’s free movement area.

Since March 31, both states have removed air and sea border controls.

However, Austria has so far prevented the introduction of Schengen rules at land borders with its veto.

Ms Predoiu said he hopes that this issue can be resolved this year.

Bulgaria and Romania’s recent progress in protecting the EU’s external borders is said to have already led to smuggling gangs increasingly looking for alternative routes.

The increasing number of smugglers’ boats arriving in Cyprus and Crete is currently a cause for concern for the interior ministers of the EU member states.

Additional refugee movements are to be expected, particularly in view of the escalation in the Middle East and the economic crisis in Egypt and Lebanon.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, the asylum seekers who arrived in Italy in the first two months of this year came from Bangladesh, Syria, Tunisia and Egypt.

The European border protection agency Frontex said just under 5,500 unauthorised arrivals were detected on the so-called Western Balkans route in the first three months of this year.

It said the figures are 64 per cent fewer than in the same period in 2024.


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